Monday, May 7, 2012

Commemorative Statue for Peace

Commemorating Daisaku's Experience in Lincoln Park in 1960

In October of 1960 Daisaku Ikeda set out from Japan with a mision to create world-wide Kosen Rufu. In October of that year he was in Chicago's Lincoln Park. He witnessed a scene that touched him and further solidified his commitment to world peace. There were a bunch of white boys playing ball, and an older white man looking on. A young African American boy watched for awhile then asked if he could join in.  The white kids and the adults made him clear he wan't welcome, just because of his skin color, and he ran off, sad. 

President Ikeda made this vow in his heart to the little boy:

"I promise you 
that I will build a society 
truly worthy 
of your love and pride." 

The original statue stands in Lincoln Park. It is of two boys, white and black, playing together happily. 

I can say for sure that within the Soka Gakkai we have accomplished Daisaku Ikeda's goal. Chicago used to be known as the most segregated city in America. I'm not sure if that is still the case, but I can tell you we are all one happy family of many races in the Buddhist Center. Here you will see people of all races, from many countries joining together to create peace on the planet. 

One day, it is all of our hope, that this same harmony can exist for all, everywhere. 

A few years ago the Mayor's Assistant came for a visit on a Sunday morning and could not believe what she was witnessing. She remarked that Sunday morning is the absolute most segregated time in Chicago, yet there we were, a rainbow of colors. She just stood on the stage looking out as us and did we do it? I'll never forget her visit, and how proud I was, and am to be part of an all-inclusive organization. 

How can a real organization aimed at peace, education and culture be anything but all inclusive? We include all lifestyles and sexual orientations as well. Why not? We are all people seeking peace and happiness for ourselves and others. Everyone is included in that. Everyone. 

The Soka Gakkai is a gathering of noble individuals dedicated to the happiness of each person bringing about the happiness of all. You can find the SGI center in all major cities. If you're not a part of it yet, do yourself a favor and call your local center. Your new friends, and new life awaits! (And do not have to give up your religion, or your beliefs to chant!)

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