I reluctantly am going to donate my copy of “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Viktor Frankl to the book exchange at my work. The last paragraph partially reads: “‘Sed omnia praeclara tam difficilia quam rara sunt’ (‘But everything great is just as difficult to realize as it is rare to find’) reads the last sentence of the Ethics of Spinoza. It is true that [decent people] form a minority. And yet I see therein the very challenge to join the minority. For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become worse unless each of us does his best.
“So let us be alert–alert in a two fold sense:
“Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of.
“And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.”
Here is a passage from an earlier section of the book:
“A bit later, I remember, it seemed to me that I would die in the near future. In this critical situation, however, my concern was different from…most of my comrades. Their question was, ‘Will we survive the camp? For, if not, all this suffering has no meaning.’ The question which beset me was, ‘Has all this suffering, this dying around us, a meaning? For, if not, then ultimately there is no meaning to survival; for a life whose meaning depends upon such a happenstance–as whether one escapes or not–ultimately would not be worth living at all.'”
So, if, more important to Frankl than is own life, is the meaning he could conjure up out of the ugly and tragic reality surrounding him, then I too must seek to create the most value rather than hold onto a book which might sit on a shelf collecting dust–by passing it on so that others, who might not even have thought to seek it out–can come by this wisdom, as the Boy Snow Mountains did–when he persuaded the demon to just hold on for two more seconds before eating him up so he could write the Buddhist teaching of life the demon had taught him on all the rocks, stones and trees so that others might be able to benefit from them–that is what it means to create value.
So, in this spirit, I ask, how many of you are willing to create value and change the destiny of this planet this Sunday, August 24, the anniversary of the Sunday in 1947 when Daisaku Ikeda joined the SGI and started his mission to revolutionize the destiny of this planet in which the demons of Auschwitz and Hiroshima still loom over us, and attend an SGI meeting or bravely join the ranks of comrades in the SGI and make a difference in this world so big you won’t see it while you are contributing to it but will know the difference when you look around you and you still see caring people, still see a world in which another Hiroshima has not happened, though we’re pushing the envelope in some places because you are still hesitating and standing on the sidelines thinking it won’t make a difference–and thus creating the cause for it not to make a difference and for many more Robin Williamses to die, many more innocent youth like Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, to die? That is the challenge I leave you with.