Cherry, Plum, Peach, Damson
Buddhism has long taught that each person is a treasure with something unique to contribute to the world. This is the message of the Buddhist principle, “cherry, plum, peach, damson.” Nichiren Daishonin uses the fruit’s flowers as a metaphor to emphasize the importance of respecting diversity among different peoples. A cherry is a cherry and doesn’t need to change in any way, nor does it need to turn itself into a plum or a peach – it’s fine the way it is.
The prime mission of Buddhism is to enable every individual to blossom to their fullest potential, regardless of who they are or where they have come from. We do not need to become someone else in order to attain enlightenment and become happy in this lifetime.
Nichiren also uses this flower metaphor to demonstrate that every individual has the same potential for enlightenment as the Buddha, regardless of who they are.
Cherry, Plum, Peach, Damson: Every Person Is A Unique Treasure Living Buddhism p. 43 June, 2023