Peace Proposal 2012
Peace Proposal 2012
By Daisaku Ikeda , 2013
The economist Amartya Sen, a renowned advocate of the methods and approaches of human security, has emphasized "the dangers of sudden deprivation." Such unanticipated threats can take the form of natural disaster and conflict, and can also arise from economic crises and rapid environmental degradation brought about by climate change. It is crucial that we respond vigorously to such threats, which can grievously undermine people's lives, livelihoods and dignity.
It is the nature of disasters that they destroy those things that are most precious, necessary and irreplaceable to human life. They inflict the suffering of the loss of friends and family members, the destruction of homes and the shredding of the bonds of community. When disasters strike, society as a whole must be prepared to offer long-term support, sharing the responsibility to assist people in rebuilding their lives.
The treatise "On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land," authored by Nichiren (1222-82), whose teachings are the foundation of the belief of members of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), provides a useful framework for thinking about our contemporary world. Three aspects of this text are especially relevant in light of present-day conditions and the imperatives of human security: the philosophical stance that the highest priority of the state must be the well-being and security of ordinary people; a call for the establishment of a worldview rooted in a vital sense of our interconnectedness; and the insight that the greatest empowerment is realized when, through dialogue, we advance from a shared concern to a shared action-oriented pledge or vow.
Such empowerment is of particular relevance to the restoration of people's sense of mental equilibrium and health in post-disaster situations, "the recovery of the heart." Buddhism teaches that whatever our individual circumstances, we can always discover the capacity to help others; it also assures us that those who have suffered the most have the right to the greatest happiness.