Embracing the Future
The Japan Times
In Embracing the Future--which first appeared as a series of essays in the English-language daily The Japan Times--Daisaku Ikeda seeks to renew faith in the potential of people to construct a future of peace. He not only offers a vision of hope despite the magnitude of the challenges we face, including eradicating poverty, nuclear weapons and our tendency to resort to violence and war, but also shares a wealth of personal insights and recollections culled from decades of peace advocacy. He puts forward an ethos of coexistence which values "cooperation over rivalry, unity over fragmentation, the pluralistic 'we' over the isolated 'I'."
A future characterized by these values can be created by fostering those who hold the key to the future—the younger generation—and by teaching them differently. Ikeda emphatically states "no one is born hating others;" hatred is imparted and ingrained during upbringing. Instead, we can impart deep respect for human life, drawing on and developing our inherent capacity for empathy and altruism.
By placing the happiness of others at the center of our lives and making the effort to encourage and engage others in genuine dialogue, our lives can exemplify the changes we wish to convey. Such dialogue recasts our differences as enriching rather than dividing our lives and has the power to reinterpret "we are in conflict" to mean "we share a problem." Through these endeavors Ikeda asserts that we are able to "fully grasp the meaning of our lives," and recognize our common humanity and shared destinies as beings on this planet. This recreation of ourselves is the process of human revolution and is a revolution open to all.
Ikeda's unshaken belief that the wisdom to transform lies within the human spirit calls each one of us to take action for others and, in striving to be the best we can, to demonstrate "the power of the individual to transform history and create the future."
Embracing the Future was released as a single bilingual volume containing 15 English essays and their Japanese versions. The English essays were originally published in the newspaper between September 2003 and January 2008. Another bilingual edition, this one in Korean and English, was released by Yonhap News in August 2009.
A power to resist the currents of history
Planting seeds of hope in Japan's youth
Moving toward a creative partnership
Facing the past, embracing the future
Emerging from the nuclear shadow
Restoring our connections with the world
Clues to living in a stress-filled society
The gravest violation of human rights
Moving beyond the use of military force
Bullying reflects problems in adult society
Realizing the potential of an aging society
Transforming our way of living
The challenge of building peace
The power of empathy
Say no to nukes in the Arctic
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