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People say that if you beckon the goddess of good fortune, imploring her to pay a visit to your family, she comes along with her younger sister, the harbinger of misfortune. That’s because the pitfalls in life are the flip side of good fortune. In the same way, when you turn misfortune over, you discover the sprouts of happiness hidden underneath.

There are times when, despite the fact, that you yourself feel that you are working as hard as you can, your efforts are misunderstood by others, and you end up on their bad side. Now and again, you find yourself giving something all you have, but it produces nothing but the opposite of what you intend. Anyone would become depressed when this drags on.

But in my case, when the kind of problems crop up that turn normal people pale and cause them to bury their heads in their hands, I tell myself that things are about to get interesting!

I accept what is unfavorable as a blessing, take contrary conditions as favorable ones, and strive for a solution. That’s because I think doing so is to practice the Buddha Way.

When I was young, someone once said to me, “You are the type of person who slacks off when days are uneventful and monotonous, but when something happens it stirs you into action.” Difficult problems are the fuel that lights a fire under me!

If you give it everything you have, there will always be someone who sees and recognizes your efforts. And even if nobody takes notice, the Buddha is witness to all. I think that one who is convinced of this is a true person of faith.

Nikkyo Niwano

From Kaisozuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing Co. 1997), pp 128-29

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