Thursday, October 29, 2009

Israel: Power of the Youth Experience

In 2008 a fellow alumni from Tabeetha School of Jaffa, Israel created a “Who wants a Tabeetha Reunion?” page on Facebook. Tabeetha School which is located in Jaffa, an Arab/Israeli city, has Catholic, Muslim and Jewish students who come from all around the world. It has been 10 years since many of us saw each other in high school and so I ceased the opportunity to help organize the event and create value in it.
I personally started to overcome the anger I had towards Israel and it’s policies. A deeply rooted cause for my anger is that I was never granted Israeli citizenship or any rights for that matter, although I was born there. However after starting my Human Revolution through the Faith, Practice and Study of Nichiren Buddhism which is for the happiness of oneself and others, I learned to see that all of life’s struggles are opportunities for our growth and benefit. Without suffering we would not know happiness. I also realized that the benefits I have today are a result of how I chose to overcome the struggles I had in Israel as well as now.
Using the compassion and wisdom that I gained, I chose to show my debt of gratitude and appreciation to those who loved and nurtured me by going back to Israel and doing my best to share my practice through peace, education and culture with the current students (12-18 years old), faculty and alumni. The response after my performance and speech was truly inspiring. I had the benefit of having group dialogues with the students as well as offer some one on one guidance. We all hope to continue these exchanges and I plan to develop these reunions and invite people and artists who think and take action for the Peace and Happiness of others.
There were also tears, laughter and prayer with family and friends that I was determined to meet in my 3 day visit. These were all the start of the positive change within us, our Human Revolution, which I wish for everyone. The scars that I felt throughout the years until this trip have now healed and although I may never live there again, I can call Israel home.
I am doing my best to learn and act upon Faith in the Mystic Law of Cause and Effect through sound/teaching/action (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo) in order to continue showing proof to others that we all have the potential within to overcome our sufferings each day by constantly changing/controlling our negative ways of thinking, communicating and reacting into positive actions. We can turn poison into medicine and change our lives, which in effect will change our environment, country and the world. I hope that we can share this philosophy with our Youth whom are our future leaders. For change, let us learn and unlearn from within each day. I am thankful for all that you and everyone has taught me. The journey goes on…..

My prayers go out to you all,

Leonides D. Arpon