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The Way of Youth

The Way of Youth
Pub. Year



Middleway Press



The commentary format of this book lends itself to Ikeda’s straightforward approach in responding to the concerns of young adults. The author draws on people and events in history as well as philosophical inquiry to discuss human nature and human potential in accessible, relevant terms.

“I recently broke up with someone, and I am really depressed.” “The more I study history, the more I find out what I’ve been taught isn’t true.” “How can I tell who my real friends are?” “Sometimes I get confused between what other people want for me and what I want for myself.” –These are some of the concerns Ikeda addresses, providing an optimistic yet grounded view of life.

Himself Buddhist—embracing the teachings of 13th-century Buddhist sage Nichiren—and president of the lay Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International, Ikeda renders insights of universal appeal. From building character and an active sense of tolerance, to the ideals of perseverance and compassion, the author maintains a steady focus on the ageless human capacity for self-transformation.

The Way of Youth is also available in Japanese, Italian, Chinese (traditional and simplified versions), German, French, Korean, Danish, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Lao, Dutch and Thai.


Foreword by Duncan Sheik
Editor’s Note

Chapter 1: FAMILY
  • Nagging Parents
  • Expressing Individuality
  • Too Little Money
  • Getting Along With Parents
  • Handling Advice
  • Too Many Restrictions

  • Genuine Friendship
  • Choosing Good Friends
  • Good Friends vs. Bad Friends
  • Losing Friends
  • Handling Rejection
  • Peer Pressure
  • Keeping Friends
  • People You Don't Like
  • Dealing With Envy
  • Being a Loner
  • Advising Friends

Chapter 3: LOVE
  • True Love
  • Take Your Time
  • Staying True to Yourself
  • Addicted to Love
  • Protecting Yourself
  • Sex
  • Teen Pregnancy
  • Handling Heartbreak

Chapter 4: LEARNING
  • Purpose of Study
  • Demands on Time
  • Dropping Out
  • Importance of Grades
  • Getting Into a Good College
  • Fear of Failure
  • Work vs. College
  • No Money for College
  • Vocational School
  • Importance of Reading
  • Learning To Enjoy Reading
  • Importance of History
  • Truth and History
  • Art Transforms the Heart
  • Appreciating Art

Chapter 5: WORK
  • Choosing a Career
  • Finding Your Mission
  • Talent
  • The Right Job
  • Changing Careers
  • Not Working
  • Making Money
  • Working for a Cause

  • Big Dreams
  • Gaining Focus
  • Being Smart Enough
  • Following Your Heart
  • Never Giving Up
  • Strengthening Your Resolve
  • Importance of Courage
  • Courage and Compassion

  • Maintaining Hope
  • True Potential
  • Facing Up to Problems
  • Bring out Your Best
  • Nature vs. Nurture
  • Changing Karma
  • Seeing Beyond Faults
  • Handling Criticism
  • Shyness
  • Self-consciousness
  • Viewing Others Positively

  • Concern For Others
  • True Kindness
  • Helping Courageously
  • Showing You Care
  • Touching People's Lives
  • Facing Insensitivity
  • Stopping Bullies
  • Dealing With Violence
  • Violence Toward Women

  • Understanding Equality
  • Courage Is the Key
  • Human Rights
  • World Citizenship
  • Getting Started
  • Friendship and Peace
  • Environmental Concerns
  • Practicing Environmental Protection
  • Role of the Individual
About the Author


”Seasoned author and popular spiritual leader Daisaku Ikeda adeptly connects the timeless wisdom of Buddhist teachings with the concerns of modern youth in this competent self-help book aimed at the teen set... Ikeda hits the hard topics head on, a bold approach that his target audience will no doubt appreciate.”

”A wonderfully accessible approach to the timeless wisdom of Buddhism and its relevance to the problems and conditions of today's young people . . . The Way of Youth is a superb contribution to Buddhist ‘life style’ literature and is especially recommended to teenage and young adult readers.”
Midwest Book Review

”Ikeda, who's worked with teens all over the world, provides some realistic, common-sense advice that will help you build confidence, find happiness, and contribute to society—no matter what creed you follow.”
—Laureen Turchio, seventeen.com

”His approach is practical, and although he often stresses the importance of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as a solution, it is not preachy. This is best suited to bright, intelligent teens who already have an idea where their path is heading and know that they have the ability to ask and seek.”
NAPRA Review

”Respect for ourselves, for others close to us, for our world community seems to be the essence of the larger answers given on many subjects. Many Young Adults will be interested in this careful explanation of the Buddhist perspective.”
—Claire Rosser, KLIATT

”This book is beneficial for any youth, as the range of concerns covers many areas. Readers of this book should emerge encouraged and with their confidence lifted.”
Youth Today

”The book is just wonderful. Everything a kid would want to know about. There's nothing boring or repetitive; it's very well thought out and contains a lot of meat. Mr. Ikeda obviously knows kids and through his answers gives them a way to function in the real world. It's written so a junior high or high school student could read it comfortably, but it's not childish. I'm very impressed.”
—Marion Collins, Principal, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

”This book is an outstanding guide to humanity. I recommend it to all who desire to seek self-improvement.”
—Arun Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and Founding Director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

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