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Discussions on Youth - for the leaders of the future
Discussions on Youth - for the leaders of the future

By Daisaku Ikeda , 2010

In Discussions on Youth, a dialogue between Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai International president, and Soka Gakkai youth leaders, Ikeda responds to the myriad of anxieties and harsh realities that universally confront young people and encapsulates the dilemmas facing humanity today. He details practical ways for youth to overcome issues relating to bullying, relationships and insecurity by drawing on and tapping their "inexhaustible wellspring of infinite potential"--or Buddhahood--to forge a robust self and to create both individual happiness and a future of peace for all.

"Courage," says Ikeda "is the driving force" of our lives. Whether we have courage has a dramatic bearing on our accomplishments, the direction of our lives and happiness. Young people, and indeed each of us, must take action in our own lives and relationships. We must exhibit a "spirit of challenge," set our sights on the future and make continuous and vigorous efforts to work and study toward achieving clearly defined goals. Although difficulties and the suffering they cause are inevitable, Ikeda believes they can, with courage and perseverance, be turned into "energy for our happiness, into fuel for advancement." Failure is giving up on ourselves; success lies in using difficulties as a springboard for growth, renewing determination and taking the next step. "One step," believes Ikeda, "can lead to infinite growth."

It is precisely because we have suffered and prevailed over our obstacles and our weaknesses that such an "ascending life" broadens our field of vision, deepens our compassion for others and our belief in their inherent dignity, as well as the capacity for positive transformation. This change in the orientation of our hearts is what Ikeda calls "human revolution" and is the very change that will move the world towards peace.

In practice, human revolution on an individual level means we are able to manifest genuine courage and compassion, be a good friend to others and develop insight for recognizing who our true friends are. Good friends initiate dialogue in order to overcome relationship difficulties and wisely steer others in a positive direction, inspiring them toward self-improvement. Ikeda states that, by "expanding our circle of friendship we create the basis for a peaceful society." This is also true in international relations. Moreover, someone who has emerged compassionate, strong and undefeated from the midst of the challenges of their youth can be a true leader, which Ikeda depicts as "a friend to those in suffering, pain and misery." Such an individual has the mettle to employ nonviolence and one-on-one dialogue to overcome "the deadlocks society faces today" which are "the deadlocks of its leaders." Young people possess the seeds of peace for the twenty-first century and are therefore the "hope of humanity"; their victory is humanity's victory.

The discussions in this book occurred in Japan over two separate sessions; the first, from 1996 to 1997, was published as two volumes in English. The second session took place from 1997 to 1999. The latest work, the second edition of Discussions on Youth, published by World Tribune Press based in Los Angeles, USA, includes the second part of the discussions and features as appendices an exchange of views with youth from the United States, and a question-and-answer session Ikeda held with students from Japan's Kansai region, both of which were not part of the original Discussions on Youth series.

Product Details

Language English
Publisher World Tribune Press


File Size(PDF) 2,299 KB
Pages(PDF) 458 pages
File Size(EPUB) 583 KB

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