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Dialogue with Sarah Wider, Former President of The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society

Professor Wider (right) is welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Ikeda, Hachioji, Tokyo, July 2006

Professor Wider (right) is welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Ikeda (left) (Hachioji, Tokyo, July 2006)

Pumpkin, a Japanese women's monthly, will begin serializing a dialogue between Daisaku Ikeda and Sarah Ann Wider, former president of The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society. The serialized discussion, titled "Ode to Mothers--On the Poetic Heart and the Age of Women," covers the life and works of the nineteenth century American author, poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), literary theory, humanistic education and the dawning of the "Age of Women." A professor of English and Women's Studies at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, USA, and a passionate Emerson scholar, Prof. Wider is also a renowned poet in her own right.

Prof. Wider observes that women are not easily overcome by fear; they can manifest great physical, mental and spiritual strength. She also notes that because they are relied on by others, women don't have time to waste being afraid or retreating in the face of difficulties. Many women throughout the world are taking a stand and speaking out on behalf of peace and justice. It is her belief that it is the work of women to create lasting peace in the world, wherever they happen to be.

Mr. Ikeda urges women to forge a solid self and develop the power to attract happiness to their lives. Then they will be happy and fulfilled themselves, as they lead their families, relatives, and their friends to happiness.

[Adapted from an article in the October 20, 2009, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]