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Brief Guidances

Q: I can’t afford to give my children the opportunities that others have, and I fear they’ll fall behind.

Real Life

A photo of family walking on sandy footpath amidst plants. Father is carrying son on shoulders during summer. Rear view of woman flying kite in nature.
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Answer:

I want the young fathers and mothers among you to thrive with your children, surmounting difficulties. Your children’s education may cost you a lot of money. And you may live in cramped quarters. Moreover, your children are probably often so boisterous that you are not well rested. However, these are mere trifles. Your duty as parents is to bring up your children honorably, and this is what you must strive to do. Unless you can embrace your wives and children with genuinely deep affection and are able to protect them, you will be unable to guide others. Probably there are cases where you are badly off and cannot afford to buy as many things for your children as you would like. My experience was the same. However, you must always remember that what is important in precisely such a situation is for a parent to have an attitude positive enough to beam on your children and say: “Let’s chant [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] together,” “Let’s go out together to enjoy the scenery” or “Let’s watch the beautiful sunrise together.”

Money cannot raise children. Money cannot determine success in their upbringing. A child’s development is what the attitude of his or her parents makes of it. I earnestly ask that you rear your children with a humane brightness and in a largehearted and cheerful manner. And I hope that you will create a tradition of wonderful marital love and parental affection. (Ikeda Sensei, from Happy Parents, Happy Kids, pp. 93–94)

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