16 Aug 2020 Expanding the Network of Goodness Through Dialogues
SSA General Director Tay Eng Kiat’s August 2020 Editorial
Wishing all a happy 55th National Day! My sincere congratulations to the Men Division (MD) too for their MD Day on August 24!
This July, our youth division has initiated the “Together We Dialogue” movement, with the objective of reaching out to encourage one more person to become happy. Our belief is that everyone possesses the life state of Buddhahood. Ikeda Sensei says, “Dialogue is the lamp by which we dispel that darkness, lighting and making visible for each other our steps and the path ahead.” Through dialogues, we aim to awaken in others their innate potential and empower everyone to live a life of absolute happiness.
Living in this fast-paced world, many of us often underestimate the true value of dialogues and are not inclined to engage in discussions. For example, we may choose to work silently in office or do not speak except when we need to. Back at home, there is also a tendency to relax by watching TV, reading newspapers or burying ourselves in the virtual world. There is seldom time for dialogue amongst family members, not to mention with friends.
Though there could be many factors contributing to the outbreak of domestic problems, I believe the most fundamental cause stems from the lack of dialogue. The same can be said of the many issues we are facing in the society today. As such, this “Together We Dialogue” movement is our effort to transform our society to one that is filled with appreciation and warmth.
During this Covid-19 pandemic, working from home has been a new experience. Through many phone conversations and online meetings, I was able to stay connected with many members and friends whom I had lost contact with. Often, I am encouraged by their strong faith, resolve and victories, manifested through the power of our Buddhist practice.
Once, I received a call from a MD member whose wife was seriously ill in hospital. Doctors had told him to prepare for the worst and he was on the verge of breaking down. Though we could not meet him in person, his leader and I shared his worries over the phone, offering him warm encouragement and support during those challenging times. Imagine our shared joy when we learnt that his wife subsequently recovered and was eventually discharged!
Ikeda Sensei shared, “The Soka Gakkai promotes a movement aimed at opening those closed hearts and illuminating them with hope and courage through furthering dialogue, thereby building a network of goodness.”
I hope that everyone can experience joy through the “Together We Dialogue” movement, reaching out and contributing to the happiness of our friends, thereby expanding the network of goodness in our society.
At the same time, this year’s October 2 “World Peace Day” is the 60th anniversary of Ikeda Sensei’s first overseas guidance trip. To commemorate this significant day, on September 27, Soka Gakkai will hold an online “World Youth General Meeting” connecting SGI countries around the world (please refer to page 6 to 8 for more information). Towards October 2 and the Soka Gakkai Founding Day on November 18, let us awaken one more person to participate in this unprecedented online “World Youth General Meeting” and build the “World’s Largest Network of Youth” encompassing the planet!