The Secret To A Great Life Is Acceptance.
Although Rosa Park refused to sit at the back of the bus, she was tired and did not understand why there should be segregation. She became a true hero in life. However, most people who do speak up and tell the truth experience a different outcome. They are deemed as not a team player. I often wonder why nobody in the office complained or made any suggestions. The answer is that it does not pay to point out what is already broken. I have been quick to point out the problems, but nobody cares. I took a look at my life and concluded that I had to change my attitude at work and in my personal life. I needed to be more accepting of myself and my environment.
Observation of Children
I watch my children play at the park. They laugh and run around. They are not bogged down by yesterday or fret about plans for tomorrow. Even when they fall, they cry but pick themselves up and play because they do not want to go home. Of course, there are exceptions such as my daughter falling on concrete block near some swings and needing seven stitches under her chin. We can learn from children.
The Wisdom of Nichiren Daishonin
Nichiren Diashonin is a 13th century monk who studied all of Shakyamuni's sutra and concluded that the Lotus Sutra was the most comprehensive of all sutras. If the name Shakyamuni is unfamiliar, this is another name for Siddartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism. One of my favorite quotes from his article called "Eight Winds" is the following:
"Worthy persons deserve to be called so because they are not carried away by the eight winds: prosperity, decline, disgrace, honor, praise, censure, suffering, and pleasure. They are neither elated by prosperity nor grieved by decline."
The reason that I return to this quote often is that I think about the memorable points in my life, whether good or bad, and those circumstances made who I am. However, whether the favorable moments outnumbered the unfavorable ones, each of us should not stop working hard in life or polishing our lives. One Turkish proverb states that iron shines when used but rusts when not. So, instead of complaining about something not working, one should overcome those obstacles by working around it.
In another article called Happiness In This World, Nichiren Daishonin also stated "Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. No matter what happens."
By chanting "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo," Nichiren Daishonin discovered that it enables people to put their lives in rhythm with the law of the universal and attain Buddhahood within this lifetime. "Nam" means respect; "Myoho" means the phenomenon of mystical law between us and the universe; "Renge" means lotus flower, but represents the law of cause of effect or karma; and "Kyo" means the voice of the sutra, and thus the rhythm from the chanting. For a more detailed definition, Soka Gakkai International has the full definition.
Examples of Great Figures in History Enduring Difficulty
Nelson Mendela was imprisoned between 1964 to 1990. He entered prison at around 46 of age and was finally released when he was 72. His reputation continued to grow when he was imprisoned, and he became the most prominent Black leader in South Africa in an effort to eradicate apartheid (racial segregation in South Africa). Not even prison stopped his resistance to apartheid. He never compromised his belief for his freedom.
Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944) was a reformist educator, author and philosopher who founded the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai (the forerunner of the Soka Gakkai) in 1930. He was imprisoned for his views against the Japanese militarist regime and died in prison. He believed that the educational system in Japan had to change so that students can be independent thinkers who are happier and more creative. His peer and second President of Soka Gakkai Josei Todai continued Soka Gakkai mission once he was released from prison a few weeks before the end of World War II.
These two leaders forged forward in their beliefs but also accepted their situation of being imprisoned.
How Can I Be More Accepting and Less Judgmental in Life?
Acceptance is not synonymous with failure or defeat. True acceptance will give us strength to move forward in life because one should not be swayed by the positive experiences or by the negative experiences. I will just march forward, striving with all of my efforts and polishing my character. I came to this conclusion that I will not judge my day as being good or bad because when I do, I am imposing an expectation, an energy drainer. And I noticed that the days that I judge to be "good" do not outweigh those days that are deemed "bad." I am teaching my family to be less judgmental as well. I found that when we do not complain about another family member that there is true peace. (Of course, there are exceptions when one person's action does harm someone else.) When there is peace, there is less stress, and we allow our energy to rejuvenate so that we can all tackle the next day.
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Our philosophy is rooted in the concept of human revolution, a process of inner transformation through Buddhist practice. We believe that happiness is being able to experience profound joy that comes from never being defeated by any problem in life.
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