Ikeda Center Core Conviction Five
The Reform of Self Is Essential to the Reform of Society
This concept resides at the heart of the philosophy of value creation that guides the Center’s work. First of all, this philosophy maintains that it is mistaken to wait for difficult external forces to improve before we ourselves take positive steps for the betterment of self and society. Admittedly, there are circumstances where an individual’s options are limited, sometimes severely so, but the principle of always looking to create value is a powerful ideal. It also provides a strong point of resonance with the ethical core of the American Renaissance, a philosophical tradition that the Center often looks to for meaningful connections with humanistic Buddhism. Says scholar Ronald A. Bosco: “The most valuable lesson that Thoreau delivers to us today is that all cultural transformation begins with the individual, begins from within.” Daisaku Ikeda concurs that “efforts to improve systems or surroundings will be meaningless unless there is an inner change within people themselves.”
Efforts to improve surroundings will be meaningless unless there is an inner change within people themselves.
Daisaku Ikeda, On the Occasion of the 1st Ikeda Forum, 2004