Life is the blossoming of flowers in the spring, the ripening of fruit in the fall, the rhythm of the earth and of nature. Life is the cry of cicadas signaling the end of summer, migratory birds winging south in a transparent autumn sky, fish frolicking in a stream. Life is the joy beautiful music instills in us, the thrilling sight of a mountain peak reddened by the rising sun, the myriad combinations and permutations of visible and invisible phenomena. Life is all things. – Daisaku Ikeda
One pressing threat to the dignity of far too many people in our world today is poverty. The pervasive stress of economic deprivation is compounded when people feel that their very existence is disregarded, becoming alienated and being deprived of a meaningful role and place within society. This underlies the need for a socially inclusive approach focused on the restoration of a sense of connection with others and of purpose in life.
Regardless of circumstance, all people inherently possess a life-state of ultimate dignity and are in this sense fundamentally equal and endowed with limitless possibilities. When we awaken to our original worth and determine to change present realities, we become a source of hope for others. Such a perspective is, I believe, valuable not only for the challenges of constructing a culture of human rights, but also for realizing a sustainable society.
Posted in Children, Culture, Education, Growth, Humanity, Poverty, Society | Tagged cultural education, culture of human rights, Daisaku Ikeda, dignity, economic deprivation, Peace Proposal | Leave a Comment »
“The preservation of one’s own culture is such a natural thing. It is a matter of respecting oneself and one’s own family and nation. It is a way of saying to your own people, as the Zulus do, “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.” That is, “I am who I am because of you.” Having said that, no person wishes to be walled off from the world, to be forced to live in a ghetto. So we all have a natural inclination to share our cultures, which by no means dilutes them–or at least it shouldn’t. The history of the world, at least in peacetime, is a history of mutual enrichment through an exchange of cultural riches. So preservation and exchange can and should go hand in hand. They always have, except when crass commercialism gets in the way, cheapening things for everyone. I think we can be vigilant against that, though.” – Youssou N’Dour gave an interview Transformative Power to the SGI Quarterly on the theme of “music as a force for peace.”
“Whether we can become good citizens of the world hinges upon the degree of self-control we achieve. It is, after all, the ability to see ourselves penetratingly that enables us to transcend national boundaries and ethnic barriers. Eternal peace is not a static condition but a continuum that is consciously maintained through the interaction of self-restraining individuals within a self-restraining society. Cooperation for peace is necessary in the areas of politics, economics, and education, of course. But the building of lasting peace depends on how many people of self-restraint can be fostered through religious guidance. If religion is worthy of the name, and if it is one that can respond to the needs of contemporary times, it should be able to nurture in its followers the spiritual basis for becoming good citizens of the world.”- (Daisaku Ikeda, 1990 Peace Proposal)
“While people are gradually beginning to acquire a global perspective, wars and struggles fought over racial, ethnic, and religious issues are as omnipresent as ever. By calling a Special Session on Education, the United Nations can effectively launch a campaign for educating world citizens that will encourage people to see that we are all passengers on one “spaceship Earth,” that we are all members of the same “house.” (Daisaku Ikeda, 1990 Peace Proposal)
[The quality of] interactions between humans and the world around us can first be understood to depend on the subjective qualities of the person. It is through our various interactions with the world that we develop in a fully balanced manner. That being the case, the world around us, nature in particular, can truly be our enlightener, our guide, our consoler. Forging a variety of interactions with nature is essential in enabling us to meet and deal with the limitless vicissitudes of life. Our happiness in life can indeed be said to be proportional to the extent and intimacy of our interaction with nature. - Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944), 2005 Peace Proposal, Toward a New Era of Dialogue: Humanism Explored, by Daisaku Ikeda, January 26, 2005
I’d really like to dedicate this to my good friend (Webmaster) at: http://www.globalissues.org/