There was once a family of 14 who lives in poverty. Poor as they may be, both Father and Mother uphold humanistic values. They were strict with their Children, reprimand when needed and praise at the right moment. Day in and out, the Children absorbed values of respecting others, filial piety, gratitude, hard work, honesty, and having the spirit of never giving up. They gritted their teeth and faced the storm of poverty and hardships. Their Children received education and the entire family jumped out of the circle of poverty as the Children were growing up.
The family ventured into businesses and accumulated wealth which changed their lifestyle. They lived in a Bungalow and had huge investments in 14 Bungalows all over the country in addition to other financial investments. Life is good. All of their earnings came from legal means and the family had no worries about their financial income. With lots of deprivation due to poverty in the past, the Parents indulged in food of all flavour – sweet, spicy, sour, salty and bitter. Fast food, high cholesterol seafood and sweet desserts were taken almost daily in both ordinary and high class restaurants. Some of the Children accompanied and followed-suit in having such lifestyle. After a long period of time, such eating pattern became a habit and eating healthy had never occur to them.
Thankfully, the number of Children, who followed their Parents/grandparents in indulging with such unhealthy eating habit, was small. The rest of them chose to eat in moderation and be involved in various physical activities in order to stay healthy.
As they grow older, both Parents were diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol, and high-blood pressure. Father had a heart-attack and luckily, medical intervention was able to save his life. The Children who chose a healthy living, let’s called them the Awakened Children, cautioned their Parents. They regretted that they didn’t voiced out earlier, as the heart attack incident might be prevented. However, as there was no point ‘crying over spill milk’, these Awakened Children continued to advice and pointed out the unhealthy eating habit with politeness and respect. They even reminded their fellow siblings (Ignorant Children) to stop buying rich and unhealthy food for their Parents.
Both Parents could not accept the advice of eating and living healthily given by their Awakened Children. Why is that? Because it meant all of their past enjoyment has to go. “Old habit dies hard”. They warned their Awakened Children that their advice is similar to disrespect, arrogant, bordering to having no gratitude towards their Parents. This was in contrary to Values that was imparted to them all these years. Despite all the labels been thrown to them, they continue to remind their Parents out of love. Unfortunately, this insistence angered the Parents. The Ignorant Children, who received the same advice to live a healthy lifestyle, sided with their Parents. Not only that, some of these Ignorant Children continued to encourage their Parents to splurge and eat lavishly, because they are also partaking and enjoying the good food and good life together.
So now, the Children were not on the same page. On one side, the Ignorant Children felt that their Parents should not be stopped because they were poor before and letting them continue with their lifestyle is a form of repaying a debt of gratitude. On the other hand, the Awakened Children felt that their Parents should throw away all the bad habits and start to live healthily.
One day, both Parents and Ignorant Children told the Awakened Children to leave the House if they do not agree with them. The Ignorant Children said that everyone should support their Parents’ view and lifestyle no matter what as this is an act of filial piety & Parents are never wrong, a constant statement which is stated in the Values of Humanism. They despised their Awakened siblings, giving them labels and accusations that they no longer love their Parents and harbour evil intentions. They even say that these siblings are like people that has no Values in Life.
The Awakened Children argued that it is because of filial piety, the deep wish to repay one’s debt of gratitude to their Parents that they highlighted the wrongdoings and wanting them to live a long and healthy life through proper nutrition. Their wish to see their Parents live a healthy life is in accord with the humanistic Values taught all along. Both sides exchange views and appeared to be on a dead-lock. Finally, some of the Awakened Children were thrown out from the House. They could still go back to the House for dinner with the family but they could not stay inside the House.
After the few Awakened Children were forced to move out, the Ignorant Children were fearful that the rest might also do the same. Who else will pay for the utilities and maintain the House? The Awakened Children will continue to give their parents money on a monthly basis but it is also fair to say that their Ignorant siblings who lives in the House should be the main contributors in sustaining the House. Apart from that, the frequency of doing house chores has increased for the Ignorant Children after the some of the Awakened Children moved out.
Does the story above sounds familiar to us in Soka Gakkai Malaysia? Think about it. Parents are the Pioneers, Senior leaders, SGM Top Leaders; Ignorant Children are the comrades who support SGM Top leaders blindly without questioning; Awakened Children are comrades who questioned and provided constructive views to SGM top leaders for the advancement of SGM (The House). The Awakened Children might be strict with the Parents for their own well being but it does not mean that they don’t love the Parents. It is precisely because of love that they voiced out when they see flaws in their “eating habits”. When the flaws are taken care of, when improvements were made to address the gaps, the Parents and House will have a longer lifespan. By turning a blind eye and encouraging the Parents to go about their unhealthy lifestyle, the Ignorant Children are not doing them any favour but instead letting them doomed themselves. That is not love. That is a great sin one can inflict on a person/organization.
We hope this simple parable will be able to illustrate the situation SGM faced today. We are all a unit of a family, with the same goal. Some members of the family voiced out something out of concern, some prefer not to see the problem, but it does not mean that they are not members of the family. It does not mean they wish harm to the family. Unfortunately, the Parents decided to cast out the Children and break the family unit apart to protect the House, which is now a meaningless structure made of stones.
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