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Ikeda Center Dialogue Nights Embraces Vulnerability

Participants from around the world join the Ikeda Center’s Dialogue Nights, Oct. 28, 2021.
Growth—Participants from around the world join the Ikeda Center’s Dialogue Nights, Oct. 28, 2021.

by Mitch Bogen
Special to the Tribune

What are the benefits of vulnerability during challenging times such as these? This question was at the heart of the Ikeda Center’s Oct. 28 Dialogue Nights.

Called “Embracing Vulnerability: Our Path to Genuine Growth,” the virtual event was attended by 28 participants from many time zones around the world.

In her welcoming remarks, the Ikeda Center’s program manager, Lillian I, said the topic arose from the sense shared by members of the Ikeda Center’s youth committee that too many people today are “putting on a face,” denying feelings of sadness or pain.

To inspire participants to be open and vulnerable, Ms. I shared Daisaku Ikeda’s conviction that “when you take one step to reach out to people … and share their thoughts and sufferings, infinite compassion and wisdom well up within your heart.”[1]

This Dialogue Nights featured presentations from two youth who took part in a vulnerability project organized by the Ikeda Center. Speaking first, Kip Clark talked about how liberating it was to overcome the vulnerability he felt when setting boundaries with others.

Next, Sakshi Khurana talked about the empowerment that resulted from being honest and open about a health condition that she had long hidden from others for fear of being judged.

Following the presentations, participants broke out into small groups for a 25-minute dialogue session. Upon returning, several people shared takeaways. One said that vulnerability is an act of value creation in which we give a part of ourselves to others, like a gift.

As the evening wound down, participants offered definitions of vulnerability in the Zoom chat room. The spirit of the event was captured well with the suggestion that “vulnerability is courage.”

The center launched Dialogue Nights in September 2017 to provide a space for young people to engage in meaningful conversations and form genuine connections. Inspired by Mr. Ikeda’s belief in the infinite potential of youth to be agents of change in their local communities, Dialogue Nights aims to bring hope to young people through the transformative power of dialogue.

Visit for in-depth coverage of the event.

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