Core Conviction: On Our Potential

Ikeda Center Core Conviction Three

It’s Critical To Maintain Faith In People’s Potential for Good

Faced with so much cruel and thoughtless human behavior, it is tempting to succumb to cynicism and despair about the ability of individuals to make a positive difference in our world. From this position, one is left with only the option of top down, coercive solutions—i.e., the kinds that rarely, if ever, stick. As a response to widespread despair, faith in human potential for good should not be confused with unthinking optimism; rather, this faith maintains, based on the evidence of actual positive behavior, that humans have the inherent capacity, individually and collectively, to overcome self-imposed limitations and impact the world in creative as opposed to destructive ways. Our faith in the power of dialogue, in humanistic education, and in democracy itself depends on faith in people’s potential for good.

I have gained a strong confidence in the rich reserves of goodness that are equally the possession of all people.

Daisaku Ikeda, On the Occasion of the 1st Ikeda Forum, 2004