There are many children and youths in developing nations who come from a poor family and cannot go to school. On August 27, 2011, Master Ryuho Okawa answered the questions of the younger generation who had gathered at the Happy Science temple Sohonzan Nasu Shoja in Tochigi Prefecture. Citing the modernization of Japan as an example in response to a question asked by a poor student from the Philippines, Master Okawa offered strong words encouragement to the student.
If you are feeling disappointed and have given up on succeeding in life because you can’t go to school for economic reasons, then we ask you to muster your courage and carve out a future for yourself using Master Okawa’s words below as your guiding principle.
I’m a student from the Philippines. Every year about 40 percent of students there leave school due to economic reasons. Recently in my country, there have been stories in the news of students committing suicide because their parents won’t let them go to school. How can such students be encouraged? I myself am in the same situation. What can be done to make Filipino students feel that they are still blessed despite their unfortunate circumstances?
Thinking you cannot learn without going to school is a mistake
Should I answer in Japanese or English? (Interpreter: “Japanese is fine.”) Ok.
The reason for 40 percent of people not being able to go to school is, perhaps, because of the difficult economic situation of your country.
Something like a country’s social system is certainly somewhere where individuals can feel as though they are going nowhere. That’s a fact.
But I think that way of thinking needs to be changed because there is also the idea that you are mistaken if you think that you cannot learn if you don’t go to school.
For example, graduating from university is an advantage in finding work, but the amount of study done at university is, maybe, the equivalent of reading as many as a hundred books. Attaining that amount of knowledge is doable if you put in the effort and study.
Even without formal schooling, if someone can apply oneself, has knowledge and is capable, then the world is such that inevitably a path will open up for such person.
Naturally, it’s important for the country as a whole to improve so no one has to suffer, but for that to happen it must produce good leaders.
And so, there is the idea that success is possible if the conditions and environment are right, but people achieving success despite a bad environment encourage others and sometimes a path will open up for them.
For the modernization of Japan too, there are many people from the Meiji Restoration era who didn’t have any schooling but with effort made their marks in society. Because there was no such thing as good universities in that era, no one graduated, but there were people who put in an effort and did well for themselves. People going to school and getting an education is something that came later.
First of all, the emergence of people who succeed in the real world can enrich society as a whole.
And so, while it’s easy to sympathize, if anything I hope those who do not give in to their environment and can overcome their misfortune will increase by even just one or two, and Happy Science is full of teachings on how to do that.
Effort and the power of faith can work many miracles
With the name “Happy Science” we are recognized as a religion, but in fact we are also a type of school. An institution for lifelong learning that educates not just children but also adults until the end of their lives. Everything comes under our teachings, including elements that go beyond university education and elements that educate adults. The secret to success is in all our teachings.
So if you cannot go to school, please come and study at Happy Science. If you do, you can become smarter than if you had gone to a good school because we explain how to succeed. Please, by all means, let such people know that religion is also one path of study.
But because you should ultimately make an effort to strengthen the country, you have to increase the number of people who succeed in all fields and elevate society as a whole.
Please, foster people who will succeed and not give in. You don’t need a range of conditions. Just become someone who is trying very hard for what it’s worth. And, of course, believe in the power of faith. That is important.
The Philippines is also a Christian country, but there are many people who no longer understand the miracle of Christ.
Miracles can occur even now. Plenty can occur. That is what we are out to prove. Because we can truly work miracles, I’d be grateful if you had faith.