Daisaku Ikeda offers a message of optimism about our common future by sharing personal glimpses of individuals throughout the world whose perseverance led to extraordinary achievements. Many of these individuals are well known—Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Linus Pauling, Mahatma Gandhi, among them—and others perhaps less so. Yet their struggles for the goal of peace are just as inspirational.
In this collection of essays, the reader is encouraged to examine stereotypes and overcome prejudices, keeping an open mind to the possibility of a world without violence or war. Making the seemingly impossible possible is perhaps the running thread among the essays.
Hazel Henderson, an “ordinary housewife” (her words), became concerned about air quality and through persistent efforts had all local media cover the air pollution index. Torao Kawasaki was a pioneer of Arabic Studies in Japan and compiled the first Japanese-Arabic dictionary. Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to orbit Earth. All have a compelling tale to tell, having triumphed over formidable adversity through intense personal struggle.
Included with the book is a companion DVD of the author’s essay "Another Way of Seeing Things," about British historian Arnold Toynbee and the need to challenge prejudiced ways of viewing “others.” Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham, the DVD won the 2004 Chris Award at the Columbus International Film Festival.
ARNOLD TOYNBEE – Another Way of Seeing Things
JOSE ABUEVA – Refusing to Hate
NELSON MANDELA – Lion of Freedom
VALENTINA TERESHKOVA – First Woman in Space
MAHATMA GANDHI – The Courage of Nonviolence
MY REMINISCENCES – A Piece of Mirror
CHINGIZ AITMATOV – The Writer’s Path
RABBI MARVIN HIER – The Courage to Remember
FANG ZHAOLING – Painting of the Heart
MARTIN SELIGMAN – Learning to Hope
DAVID NORTON – Life as an Adventure
MY REMINISCENCES – Teachers of My Childhood
CORNELL CAPA – Capturing the Eternal Moment
ROSA PARKS – Just One Word
JAN OBERG – The Peace Doctor
TORAO KAWASAKI – A Bridge Between Civilizations
BA JIN – Warrior of the Pen
LINUS PAULING – Genius for Peace
MY REMINISCENCES – Hearts Still Closed to the World?
OSVALDO PUGLIESE – The Passion of the Tango
HAZEL HENDERSON – A Message of Hope
About the Author
“I was struck by the hope that this book projects; the promise that it holds out. I think these days it’s very hard to have feelings of hope. This book has inspired me with the possibility of a world without hate. It has reawakened that hope. It’s about a better world—for all of us together. I sensed my faith in the future of humanity slipping—but this book has helped me to find it again.”
—F. Murray Abraham, Academy Award-winning actor
“Mr. Ikeda’s collection of essays bears an eloquent testimony to his own life’s mission of bringing out the goodness of humanity by championing dialogue that promotes understanding and respect. He has devoted his life to a cause which we share—that of building a culture of peace. A world in which every individual is treasured not in spite of, but because of his and her uniqueness and difference.”
—Anwarul Chowdhury Under-Secretary-General, United Nations (from Introduction)