Speech for Coming of Age Ceremony
Good evening, Chief Priest Reverend Nomura, Assistant Priests Reverend Warashina, Reverend Oguchi, and fellow believers.
First of all, I would like to express my sincere congratulations to all children, students and youths on your journey to the next level in life. Next, I would like to congratulate and thank all the parents here today for bringing your children to the temple for this coming of age and graduation ceremony.
Every step and every milestone in life is crucial because once we have passed one, we can never repeat the first experience. Therefore, we must always cling on to the Gohonzon and do our daily practice. This will help us to appreciate, treasure and have a positive mindset to do things without regrets.
As students, studying is the most important. Thus, you should try to obtain better results than others by having an earnest attitude in your daily practice. In so doing, you can manifest the goodness of practice through actual proof and slowly influence your friends by performing shakubuku to them and helping them overcome their difficulties in their studies.
When one puts priority in one’s daily practice, one has the wisdom to manage time and will not be easily affected by one’s environment (e.g. peer pressure), causing one to lose sight of what is the most essential or right thing to do.
As youths, as you grow older, you will realise that you need to shoulder more responsibilities and make more critical decisions. To do this, having a positive attitude towards everything and a strong determination of not giving up easily in whatever things we do is crucial. This can only be done if you consistently do your daily practice, chant Daimoku and conduct shakubuku.
You need to study hard and succeed if you want to increase the choices of your career in future. If you are working, you need to decide how to perform well and consider why you are working in your current job and how to contribute towards kosen-rufu. All children and youths have unlimited potential, but if you do not do your best to improve yourselves, then potential will not be realised.
Nichiren Daishonin states in “On Attaining Buddhahood”:
“Even a tarnished mirror will shine like a jewel if it is polished. A mind which is presently clouded by illusions originating from the innate darkness of life is like a tarnished mirror, but once it is polished it will become clear, reflecting the enlightenment of immutable truth. Arouse deep faith and polish your mirror night and day. How should you polish it? Only by chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo.”
As Nichiren Daishonin teaches, by improving ourselves consistently every day, the mirror of our mind can reflect everything clearly. Please visit the temple more often to learn from our Chief Priest and Assistant Priests and improve your daily faith as this is essential to your studies or work.
Thank you very much for your patience in listening.