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Ikeda Sensei

Be Courageous!

Ikeda Sensei's Guidance for the Future Division

Photo by Luke Stackpoole / Unsplash.

In the same way that the morning sun rises and brightens everything, your progress brings great hope to your parents. As shining members of the future division, each of you has the support of the Soka family in your community, throughout Japan and around the world. Everyone is praying for your growth, so put your mind at ease as you give your all to the challenges ahead of you in a way that is true to yourself.

• • •

Out of my sincere wish that all future division members will be victorious, I have offered these seven guidelines:

1. Let’s take care of our health.
2. Let’s read books.
3. Let’s always use common sense.
4. Let’s have patience.
5. Let’s make lots of friends.
6. Let’s accumulate good fortune.
7. Let’s cherish our parents.

These are things that I tried to bear in mind from the time I became a disciple of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda. Doing so has made me who I am today.

I would particularly like you, my precious young friends, to do your best to follow the first guideline, “Let’s take care of our health.” I say this because I myself suffered from poor health when I was young. A doctor once told me I probably wouldn’t live to the age of 30.

But Mr. Toda encouraged me to be strong and live long, so I determined to become healthy no matter what. I chanted daimoku [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] and made consistent efforts to establish a good daily rhythm.

I hope you, too, will strive to go to bed early and wake up early, eat breakfast and start each day on a positive note. Also, be careful as you make your way to and from school.

The second guideline is “Let’s read books.” Reading is nutrition for your mind. Books are filled with wisdom.

Mr. Toda always asked me what I was reading. When I told him, he would ask me many questions about the book. I therefore never went to see him without reading and studying beforehand. Because of this, I became able to hold conversations on various subjects with scholars and leaders around the world.

Some of you may have a hard time reading. If that is the case, just read a little at a time or take breaks as you go. Please make books your friends.

The third guideline is “Let’s always use common sense.” This is another way of saying “Be a person who is kind and honest.” Such a person doesn’t lie, make trouble or hurt others. It’s important to treat others the way you want to be treated.

All of you, my dear friends, are lion cubs. Lion cubs burn with the courageous spirit of lions and are committed to justice. They live each day with strength, honesty and optimism.

The fourth guideline is “Let’s have patience.” In other words, don’t compare yourself to others.

As a lion cub, you will grow into a lion king. Just as the lion is the king of beasts, you can be a champion in your chosen place of endeavor.

Though you may not enjoy studying or playing sports now, don’t be hard on yourself. There’s no need to be impatient. Try to improve yourself even just a little each day. People who keep moving forward no matter what win in the end, and those who win in the end are true champions.

The fifth guideline is “Let’s make lots of friends.” Good friends are the greatest treasures we have in life.

I have made friends with people across the globe. This is because I believe that creating a peaceful world starts with a society grounded in friendship.

Having friends you can talk to when you’re struggling will help lighten your load. When something good happens, your friends will share your joy. Friendship cuts your sadness in half and doubles your joy.

Please make good friends and expand your circle of friendship. The spirit to value friendship is directly linked to world peace.

The sixth guideline is “Let’s accumulate good fortune.” This means challenging yourself to chant daimoku. You all possess infinite potential. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the way to bring it out. Daimoku is an unbeatable force, just like the powerful roar of a lion.

Try writing down your goals and dreams and chanting each day to achieve them. Just chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo three times is a good start. By chanting daimoku, all your struggles will become a source of strength and good fortune. A person with good fortune will be protected at a crucial moment. Good fortune enables you to move in the direction of hope and victory, no matter what happens.

The last guideline is “Let’s cherish our parents.” You were born into this world because of your parents. People who can cherish their parents can cherish themselves. If you can offer a warm smile to your parents, you can treat other people with kindness, too.

Though some of you may have lost one or both of your parents, you probably have relatives, teachers or other people looking after you. Please show them your appreciation. People who are grateful can grow without limits. Please do your best to show gratitude to those who are raising you.

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You don’t have to fulfill all of the seven guidelines at once. Just begin with something you can do. If you like reading, start there. A simple “thank you” to your parents is a great way to show that you cherish them.

Those who can follow these seven guidelines will gain seven treasures in the form of a healthy body, rich wisdom, a spirit of justice, the strength of a champion, good friends, the power not to be defeated and limitless growth. Those who possess these seven treasures can become unrivaled lion kings.

What is the most important thing to achieve this? It is courage. Getting up early in the morning takes courage. Studying or making new friends also takes courage.

Courage is the spirit to try something you haven’t done before.

The boys and girls division song “Be Brave! With a Lion’s Heart!” is a call to have courage.

I hope all of you, wonderful lion cubs, will continue moving forward with courage while happily singing this song.

Let’s embark on an exciting adventure to gain the seven treasures I have mentioned, as we boldly move toward a bright future together!

Translated from the April 1, 2017, Boys and Girls Hope News, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly newspaper for the boys and girls division.

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