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In the springtime, the month of April is a season for many new encounters. Since hiring and job transfer in Japan generally follow the financial year’s calendar, young people in particular worry about their personal relationships with new bosses and coworkers, and aat pains to find some way of endearing themselves to others. But the most sure-fire way to do this is for we ourselves to learn to really like other people.

A lot of people are troubled by the fact that they can’t attract romantic interest; but aren’t such people are obsessed with presenting only a favorable image of themselves to others? Looking smug and talking over people’s heads, they don’t pay even the slightest attention to all-important other person.

Learning to like others is the easier way, because people naturally become fond of those who like them.

A bodhisattva called Regarder of the Sounds of the World appears in the Lotus Sutra. Manifesting in thirty-three different incarnations, the Sound Regarder never fails to come to the aid of anyone. This bodhisattva’s name (Skt. Avalokiteśvara) means to peer inside another’s heart and know their wishes.

There are people who are resigned to a lack of affinity with others because of their inability to flatter people, since they are no good at speaking. However, we should understand the bodhisattva’s “kind words” that the Threefold Lotus Sutra teaches us, means listening more, rather than talking a lot. If you can lend a sympathetic ear to anyone’s words on any subject, then you will become a person who is liked by everyone.

Nikkyo Niwano

Kaisozuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing Co. 1997), pp 34-35

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