I’ve decided I will end my memoir with SGI President Ikeda’s quote about human revolution. In his preface to the novel The Human Revolution, President Ikeda writes, “A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.” This statement may seem difficult to believe, but changing the world requires the combined efforts each individual. Even if we’re able to reach out to just one person, to help them live a happier life, then we will have succeeded. That one person may go one to help one more, and so on, as peace and happiness spreads among each individual throughout our society.
In Nichiren Buddhism, we use the term kosen-rufu and often translate it into English as ‘world peace.’ This seems appropriate for a Buddhist – to dedicate one’s life to achieving world peace. There is much more to the meaning of kosen-rufu, however, than just world peace. As SGI President Ikeda explains it: “Kosen means ‘to widely declare.’ Widely implies speaking out to the world, to an ever-greater number and ever-broader spectrum of people. Declare means ‘to proclaim one’s ideals, principles and philosophy.’ The ru of rufu means ‘a current like that of a great river.’ And fu means ‘to spread out like a roll of cloth.’ “The teaching of the Mystic Law has nothing to do with appearance, form or pride. It flows out freely to all humanity the world over. Like a cloth unfolding, it spreads out and covers all. So rufu means ‘to flow freely, to reach all.’
The term kosen-rufu also includes supporting and spreading the humanistic teachings and ideals of Nichiren Buddhism that are part of other religions and beliefs. For example, one of the most important teachings of Nichiren Buddhism is the supreme value of each and every human life. When we truly learn to appreciate and respect every person’s life, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality, we will be on the path toward world peace. In this way we can all set an example. By showing respect for and appreciating the lives of those around us, as well as our own, we can do our part every day to change the world.