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On the Cover—Chicago

Featuring SGI-USA members from Chicago.

Photo by Bob Nardi.

Bill Anderson
Ice cutter

I work at a hockey rink, maintaining the building, resurfacing the ice and keeping everyone’s spirits high. It’s a very special place. Generally, you wouldn’t believe how joyful a place the rink can be.

Watching the kids learn to skate is wonderful. Off the ice, they do get rambunctious, and I remind them that what they’re learning on the ice—teamwork, consideration and discipline—is meant to be applied off the ice as well.

I love watching hockey—the players are unbelievably talented. I have good rapport with them and try to encourage the losing team. I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo one hour before work, my foremost prayer being to create a harmonious world.

Photo by Bob Nardi.

Paris Finley

At Chicago’s annual Bud Billiken Parade in 2019, I saw a float for Chicago Women in Trades, an organization for women pursuing trade careers. I decided that ironworking was the path for me.

Now, my crew is setting up the skeleton for a nine-story building. As ironworkers, our job is to install the building’s inner channels and columns. Electricians, glaziers and drywallers follow after us.

Every morning I chant to fully understand what I’m being told and to confidently execute the direction. Often working alongside experienced ironworkers, they’ll ask, “Wait a minute, what year are you?” They don’t expect a rookie to work with the confidence that I do. “She’s doing a great job!” I overhear them say. It feels good to be recognized when you’re giving 100%. Chanting keeps me focused.

Photo by Bob Nardi.

Juan Pablo Molina-Cruz
Michigan City, Indiana

Soon after coming to the United States from Mexico in 2002, I began working as a restaurant cook and have continued in this line of work for 20 years.

Life is a never-ending challenge, so I go into work with the SGI spirit—the conviction that everything I do matters. Sometimes, my colleagues are distracted, weighed down by life’s many problems. Whatever their role in the kitchen, I tell them, “Think like you own the place, like people are coming out because they heard we were back here in the kitchen!” This inspires us to stay focused. I think of myself as representing Ikeda Sensei in my restaurant and strive to create unity in every situation.

When others see my name on the work schedule, I want them to say: “Juan is working that day? I want to work that shift!”

Realizing ‘Peace and Security’

Deciding to be a Victor!