Sitting reading William Woollard’s book Buddhism and the Science of Happiness, he talks about the way western society has become addicted to wealth and is dominated by the pursuit of money and power. This is at the expense of fairness, sharing and compassion. We have become, to all intents and purposes, what we earn or own rather than who we really are as a person.
A society that has sacrificed so much to material wealth that it has forgotten the human heart and the best of human aspirations, degenerates into something compassionless, doctrinaire, ignorant and ultra-conservative. When this happens, fundamental solutions to the issues of that society become impossible. If we protect the truth and are resolute, we are capable of creating peace and prosperity, and the truth that we should be protecting has to be high and great.
The great truth of Nichiren Buddhism, the thing that we must do our utmost to protect, involves ethics and the very best of human nature. At the very heart of this lies our duty to protect the truth of life, the truth that we are all one with the universe, and that every single human thought contains the entirety of universal life.
The sooner we realise that this addiction is destroying our human nature, the sooner we can start to right the injustices in society. Failure to take steps to redress the balance of wealth will result in more of the kind of riots we saw across the country last year. We all knock the bankers for their greed and avarice, but we are all to blame to a greater or lesser extent and we must do better.