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When a couple's relationship turns sour, to make matters worse, their child will suddenly start acting up, spouting things that terrify the parents to the point they wonder how this could even be their child. Some people in this situation plead that they don't have the slightest idea what to do.

Yet, it's not until you find yourself in a fix that pushes you beyond what you can handle on your own that you become willing to really listen to the words of others.

The Buddha assures all living beings that they are his children, and promises that he will never fail to help and protect them. Despite this, in life we often find ourselves begrudgingly asking why we have to go through such hard times. Misfortunes pile up one on top of another, and sometimes we are even driven to despair, questioning the existence of the gods and the Buddha. However, the Buddha never, ever abandons us.

The hardships dealt to us are also the Buddha keeping watch over us, telling us that now is the time to take a good hard look at ourselves and make a change.

It is precisely when we are pushed to the edge that we face moments of truth.

And these times are crucial junctures during which the people around us have to reach out to us with their words.

Nikkyo Niwano

From Kaisozuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing Co.), pp.62-63

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