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District Meeting

District Study Meeting Material

June 2023

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Please base your study on either the material provided here or on any study material from a recent issue of the World Tribune or Living Buddhism. Have a great study meeting!

Trustworthiness Is the Greatest Asset for Youth [20.11]

Chapter 20: Encouragement for Youth

The study material below is excerpted from The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition, pp. 363–65. You can purchase revised editions of parts 1 and 2 at

The following is from Ikeda Sensei’s book Watashi wa ko omou (My Thoughts), published in Japanese in May 1969.

Ikeda Sensei: Trust is an essential requirement for human life. For young people, in particular, trustworthiness is their greatest asset. A young person who fails to build trust is very unlikely to succeed.

Trust is difficult to build, yet easy to destroy. The trust one has worked hard to accumulate over a decade can be lost by a thoughtless word or action at a crucial moment. Carefully crafted facades tend to crumble at a critical juncture.

Those who persevere through hardships to carry out their own mission will ultimately win the trust of all around them.

I reserve the highest respect and admiration for those who, though having jobs that may be unexciting and out of the limelight, conscientiously apply themselves to their work, day in and day out, and patiently keep striving to improve themselves, one step at a time.

Though the trust of others is indeed precious, it can be ruinous for young people to adopt an overly cautious attitude, always playing it safe. The failures you experience at times in your youth can be incredibly valuable in building the foundation for your future. Young people should be aware of the fact that they are not perfect, and try to live each day with courage, true to themselves.

Those who lead resolute lives, who possess an invincible spirit and are able to rise up from the depths of despair like phoenixes from the ashes, are much more likely to achieve brilliant victory in the end than those who have never experienced failure or disappointment. We should not be afraid of failure or mistakes, but of letting them defeat us.

Allowing one or two setbacks to discourage us is foolish. Life is a long, long journey. However wonderful or successful our lives may seem along the way, if we end up suffering unhappiness and defeat in our final years, nothing could be more tragic.

Please advance courageously with the conviction that the more mistakes you make in your youth, the more you can build the foundation for a new chapter in your life and lifelong happiness.

It’s also important as young people to have the guts and integrity to honestly admit your errors. Never be so cowardly as to refuse to admit your mistakes and instead blame them on others.

Being open-minded enough to calmly reflect and pinpoint where you went wrong can become the source of future value creation.

There is nothing more reassuring, refreshing or beautiful than young people striving hard toward a goal. Nothing in all the world is more beautiful than the earnest struggles of youth.

Trust Gained Through Sincerity

Ikeda Sensei: In a letter titled “The Four Virtues and the Four Debts of Gratitude,” Nichiren Daishonin offers the 17-year-old Nanjo Tokimitsu detailed instructions on how one should behave as a human being. …

Nichiren writes, “Though one’s trustworthiness may at first go unnoticed, in time it will be openly rewarded” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 636). Even if your efforts are not appreciated at first, if you continue being sincere, good people will naturally gather around you, and you will be able to win people’s trust in the end.

Treating all people with sincere respect is one of the key qualities of sages and worthies, says the Daishonin (see WND-2, 636).

People who take action to build friendships with others as fellow human beings are true global citizens. The mentors and disciples of Soka have forged ties of friendship with people around the world in this spirit of sincerity, as taught in Nichiren Buddhism. (August 21, 2020, World Tribune, p. 2)

Suggested Questions:

1) How do you develop trust with those around you?

2) Please share a time you turned a mistake into a positive opportunity.

From the June 2023 Living Buddhism

Highlights of the June 2023 Study Material

District Discussion Meeting Material