Persevering with the Determination to Win No Matter What

Soo Zhi Yi
Young Women Division

I am a fortune baby and I have been following my parents to SGS meetings since young. However, I only started practising seriously when I was in secondary school. I was fearful that I would not be able to enter a polytechnic and started chanting in earnest. When I entered the workforce, I faced various
challenges and saw how all that I had learnt from Nichiren Buddhism could be applied to overcome my problems. This deepened my faith and became a prime point I always fall back on.

2021, being the first year of the decade leading to the centennial of the Soka Gakkai, I was determined to create a breakthrough where I was. There were very few Young Women Division (YWD) members in my chapter and the majority were either in Primary Division or Future Division. Before Covid-19 broke out, they were still contactable. However, when the pandemic took place and we were forced to conduct our activities online, most of them did not participate in the Zoom meetings.

Nevertheless, I have learnt from Sensei’s spirit during the Kamata Campaign and the Daishonin’s writings the importance of not giving up. I continued to message them, call them. from time to time, even though none of them picked up my calls. With the spirit of “Still I am not discouraged”, I racked my brains to think of how I could reach out to them, mailing them letters, sending them invites to meetings every
month and chanting abundant daimoku for them.

By November, my efforts still seemed futile, but the Soka Women Glorious Victory Day (SWGVD) was approaching, and I really wanted the YWD members who had not joined us for the past two years to join this meeting. This must be a turning point in their lives I thought. In response to my strong determination,
three YWD members who hadn’t been joining us for any meetings over the past two years joined in the SWGVD meetings. I remember a YWD member who belonged to a district that held their meeting on
Saturdays didn’t turn up at the meeting. I continued to chant fervently for her that night and courageously shared the links of three other districts’ meetings that would be held on Sunday with her. Just five minutes before the meeting started on Sunday, she texted me to tell me that she would be joining, and not only her, in fact another inactive YWD member in that district joined the meeting with her! I am convinced that all my efforts to plant the seeds of Buddhism in these YWD members’ lives would never be wasted.

Besides not giving up, I believe the fostering of our youth is also made possible with the support of the adult division. We have a YWD believer who was encouraged by her grandmother to join our Soka activities occasionally. Together with our Women Division leaders, we warmly engaged and communicated with her consistently. With the combined efforts of all the chapter and district leaders, as well as her grandmother, this YWD believer could feel the sincerity of the Soka family, and now joyously joins the youth zone study and discussion meetings regularly. She always readily takes up any role that I
approach her for, and even shared her testimony of passing her test based on faith in the last discussion meeting. Her pure spirit in faith in turn touches and inspires me.

Ikeda Sensei wrote: “Prayer is our most powerful ‘weapon’. If we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with all our hearts and continue to make efforts to challenge our situation, we will definitely win in the end.
Our goal is that single word: victory.”

Towards 2030, I will continue to do my best for kosen-rufu, reaching out to as many young women in my zone as possible and foster them into capable successors.

(Adapted from Feb 2022 issue of Creative Life)