SGI Men Strengthen Commitment to Promoting Peace
On August 12, more than 70 SGI-USA Men's Division members from Atlanta, Georgia, traveled over 600 miles--55 by a specially chartered bus--to attend the SGI-USA Men's Conference at the Florida Nature and Culture Center (FNCC).
For the year leading up to the conference, the men focused on the theme of raising and supporting capable youth and establishing a culture of care. The men held weekly prayer meetings toward this goal and for the purpose of strengthening unity. They also made a concerted effort to reach out to people in the community, engage in dialogue and help encourage one another in order to promote peace and wellbeing. One FNCC participant commented that through these community-building activities, every single person who attended the course was able to have a sense of accomplishment and victory.
On August 27, a Men's Friendship meeting with the theme "The Power of Dialogue" was held at the SGI-Australia community center in Perth and drew some 50 people. The SGI-Australia exhibition "Dark to Dawn: Being Creative about Depression" was also shown and some men shared their personal experiences of overcoming depression through using their practice of Buddhism and being supported by others, as well as receiving appropriate care. One of the men described how a friend's timely visit and sincerity helped avert his suicide attempt and became the catalyst for him to start practicing Buddhism. He shared that, as a result, he has been able to gain more appreciation for his life and become truly happy.
[Adapted from the September 23, 2011, issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA, and an article from the SGI-Australia website; photos courtesy of SGI-USA and SGI-Australia]