Here in the UK I keep getting members say to me. "your activism, your environmentalism, your veganism, your desire to change things, your desire to help the refugees, do that on an individual level, the SGI only exists to teach people how to practice Nichiren Buddhism. We do not do things like that as an organisation, they are too polarising."
But I think this is wrong and I will demonstrate why, by sharing with you a list, of SGI initiatives that have happend with SGI members acting as a collective to help others:
The Peoples Decade - Setup by Daisaku Ikeda as a platform for people to speak out against Nuclear Weapons (http://www.peoplesdecade.org/)
The Amazon Ecological Conservation Center - Setup to educate and inspire people in the area about the importance of conservation (http://www.sgiquarterly.org/news2011Apr-3.html)
Soka Universities across the world, educational institutions founded on the principles of Nichiren's Buddhism. Places of value creation. (http://www.soka.edu/)
2013 Supporting The Robert Levy Foundation - A foundation setup in North London to support youth, after the young Robert Levy was stabbed to death in the streets in North London, SGI members gathered to support the event. (http://www.robertlevyfoundation.org/)
The Human Revolution Orchestra - A collection of SGI members representing SGI on world Peace day at the international Jazz Festival in London 2014/2015 (http://www.humanrevolutionorchestra.co.uk/)
Victory Over Violence - The Soka Gakkai youth of America created this campaign in 1999 as a way to help identify and root out violence in thei own lives and their community as a wey to support the United Nations "Culture of Peace" Initiative. (http://www.vov.com/)
Soka Gakkai Malaysia - On January 1, in response to the major floods that hit the East coast of Malaysia from mid-December 2014, Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) held special prayer meetings at 25 venues across the country. The floods, described as the worst the area has seen in 30 years, rendered more than 100,000 people homeless, as well as causing power outages and shortages of food and water.
SGI Nepal - Together as an organisation members worked together In response to the April 25 and May 12 earthquakes in Nepal, SGI-Nepal members have been carrying out relief activities both in the capital city of Kathmandu and surrounding areas.
On June 25, SGI and ACT Alliance co-organized a side event titled "The Role of Faith Based Organizations in Disaster Resilience" at the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) held from June 22-26 in Bangkok, Thailand. AMCDRR was organized by the Royal Thai Government and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
I could go on and on the list is endless...
These big issues matter, they matter to me, and they matter to the future of this planet, and the future of our children and our children children.
We are the society for creating value, a global movement of peace, education and culture.
We are not just another religious organisation.
Only if we ACT together can we transform this world.
As Victor Hugo once said "Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come."
And that time is now.
Do not let anyone tell you, especially a leader that you CAN NOT do something that you KNOW in your heart will help other people, and transform this world.
There are members out there who will join forces with you to make the change you want to see.
The trouble with the world today is people are afraid, afraid to act, afraid to speak out, afraid to take ACTION.
It's time to take action...