Why does the SGI stress individual empowerment?

Buddhism emphasizes the possibility of inner transformation—a process of bringing forth our full human potential. There is a common perception that the discipline and focus necessary for such a process requires a set of ideal circumstances not available to most. Nichiren Buddhism, however, teaches that it is only by squarely facing the challenges that confront us amidst the harsh contradictions of society that we can change our own lives and the world for the better. While the role of institutions or governments is important, change that starts within each person’s life is seen the surest way to tackle the problems facing the world in the 21st century. Many people feel hopeless about these issues, but the SGI stresses that people have the power to change their circumstances, and its public education and outreach projects aim to inspire people and equip them with information that they can use to make a difference in their communities.

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