Inheriting the Spirit of the February Campaign

SGS General Director’s February 2022 Editorial

Greetings to all! I hope everyone had a wonderful time with friends and families during the Chinese New Year celebration.

In this Year of Youth and Dynamic Progress, we would like to focus on the core activities of the Soka Gakkai. On these, Ikeda Sensei once said,

“They are discussion meetings, Buddhist study and one-on-one dialogue and personal guidance. This is because these activities have been the Soka Gakkai’s tradition since Makiguchi Sensei and Toda Sensei’s time.

“As long as we continue to powerfully put them into practice in the spirit of perseverance, we will never fail to change the trends of our era, expand the solidarity of humanity and justice and create a new world of peace…”

One of our goals this year is to transform our discussion meetings into Oases of Happiness, where we gather happily with friends and comrades of the Mystic Law to share joy and benefits of this practice, encourage and learn from one another, and grow together in faith and conviction. The more we share, the greater the delight andourjoyfurtherincreases.

Buddhist study helps us to elevate our life-state, become happy and win in life. It awakens us to do our human revolution, and we come into contact with the lives of Nichiren Daishonin and the Soka mentors, the role models of faith.

This pandemic has brought great changes and impact upon our lives. On November 8, 2021, local newspaper, Today, reported on a survey with more than 1,000 youth in Singapore (aged 18 to 35) which found that “most millennials have become more fearful (58%) and less sociable (54%) because of the pandemic, though more than half (59%) were still optimistic about the future, believing that life would be better a year from now.”

There is a lot we can do — reach out, spread hope and courage with our one-on-one hope-filled dialogues. This is the spirit of the Soka Gakkai. Immediately after the second world war, amidst great sufferings, Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda cast his sight of achieving a membership of 750,000 households. His aim was to relieve the sufferings of the people and transform not only the destiny of Japan, but all humanity.

When this noble goal of 750,000 member households reached an impasse, it was Kamata Chapter that achieved the breakthrough and paved the way to victory. In a single month, the chapter, led by the young Ikeda Sensei, achieved an unprecedented result of 201 new household members. This is known as the February Campaign and this year marks the 70th Anniversary of the February Campaign.

What led to the victory of the February Campaign? Sensei shared,

“I also offered the following three concrete guidelines: (1) Let’s start with chanting daimoku, (2) Let’s treasure our neighbours, and (3) Let’s share our experiences in faith. …”

Let us inherit this same spirit of our mentor as we joyously reach out to others in our movement for peace and happiness of all people in Singapore.