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Living Regret Free

Illustration by Kevinhillillustration / Getty Images.

Many of us know the feeling—putting something off until the following day only to find that it becomes a greater burden when we don’t follow through. In a letter to a disciple, Nichiren Daishonin tells the story of the “cold-suffering bird” that lives in the Snow Mountains. 

Tortured by the cold, the bird determines to build a nest in the morning to keep himself warm when the cold of night returns. However, the bird sleeps away the daylight hours in the warmth of the sunlight, forgetting to build a nest to keep him warm at night. This goes on day after day, the bird continuing to cry in vain throughout its life (see “Letter to Niike,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1027). 

In volume 16 of The New Human Revolution, Ikeda Sensei refers to this story as he talks to a man about the importance of earnestly exerting ourselves in faith and not procrastinating:

“Once you decide to do something, it’s important to start working toward it right away. If you think you’ll get around to it someday, the opportunity will pass and you’ll end up like the ‘cold-suffering bird.’ …

“Today is crucial—what we do right now. If we don’t act today, we’ll regret it the rest of our lives. I don’t want any of you to experience that kind of regret. Let’s fight. Let’s work and apply ourselves diligently and create a magnificent drama of life.” (pp. 13–14)

Today will never come again. The way to live a regret-free life is by making the most of each moment. Taking action and making causes now are key to opening the way for a brighter, and warmer, tomorrow. 

Prepared by the World Tribune staff

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