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Ancient Wisdom Applies to Today and Tomorrow

May 4, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

Adin_Strauss_DSC1624During May 1 to 8 Social Security is joining forces with faith-based and community groups across the country to increase awareness about their programs and services. The theme for this Faith Week of Action is “Shining a Light on Your Lifelong Protections.”

One of the common misconceptions about Buddhism is that it is detached from the affairs of daily living.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The Buddhist tradition focuses on cultivating the wisdom to differentiate between short-term pleasure and long-term well-being, and the courage to make the best choices.

Among the ancient Buddhist teachings, we find detailed, practical advice on how to handle our money. One sutra, or teaching, advises us to “set aside one fourth of our earnings for times of need.”

Social Security is a solid partner that helps us to prepare for times of need — retirement, disability or the unexpected death of a family’s breadwinner. 

As a Buddhist, I believe that all of our lives are profoundly interwoven. As one of the great modern Buddhist thinkers, Daisaku Ikeda said, “Each form of life supports all others; together, they weave the grand web of life. Thus, there really is no happiness for oneself alone; no suffering that afflicts only others.”

I appreciate that Social Security provides this kind of protection for my friends, neighbors, and all my fellow Americans. I can relate to those who resent the deduction taken from their paycheck every payday.  However, I also know these contributions provide us with an essential foundation for the future.

We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. We must ensure their well-being and honor their much-needed contributions to our world.  Social security helps us to do just that. Register for Social Security’s Faith Week of Action online and learn how you can help spread the message about securing today and tomorrow.

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About the Author

Adin Strauss, General Director, Soka Gakkai International-USA

Adin Strauss, General Director, Soka Gakkai International-USA


  1. Susan H.

    Well, I don’t think so. Our faith informs our actions. I think National day of prayer is coming up. There is references to religion by candidates. It does no harm to know more about a particular faith, and I appreciate the history behind the religion. It is an integral part of being human. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech….open your hearts & minds, People!

  2. Pat P.

    We are not allowed to cite scripture, pray or even invite others to join a Christian event on NC State campuses but a government official writing under the social security heading wants to expound on Buddhism?

  3. Henry

    I find it interesting and more than a little discouraging that so many commenters are attacking the messenger instead of reacting to the message, which is one of the support and benefits we get from Social Security. As one who has benefitted from Social Security Disability Insurance in the past, and who receives Social Security Retirement Benefits currently, I can tell you that Adin Strauss’ message is 100% accurate, and that there is NOTHING in his message which attacks Christians or any other religion! ALL the great religions promote assisting the well-being of those who have fallen on hard times, and that is exactly what Social Security is designed to do. Adin Strauss simply chose to use the teachings of his own religion, with which he is familiar, to make this point about Social Security. Get a life, people!

    • Trent B.

      It’s not about being attacked.

    • Karen

      Who are we to judge? Does not state in the Bible judge not

    • John O.

      Yes, and the government would have disciplined or fired me if I had posted the same thing from a Christian perspective. It is the hypocrisy that is found objectionable not the messenger.

  4. Darnell

    What closed minded people we can be. The writer is not “preaching” Buddhism only drawing an analogy.

    • Roc

      Thank you!

      Those who are talking about the Bible and Christianity should probably first read the former and actually put in practice through the later. Peace.

    • Trent B.

      And printed on a government site.

  5. stan

    When I saw “Ancient Wisdom” is he talking about God’s Word? And from SSA? Again disappointed by our governments antics. Thanks Wayne and Judith!.

  6. Marian

    My thoughts exactly to previous comments. No place for religious sermons.

    • Raymond

      I believe that the SSA values all people and religious beliefs. This article is just a sample to read or not to read. It’s your choice.

      • John O.

        Not really, my tax dollars pays for this !!

  7. William L.

    I am a Christian and believe in God and the U.S. Constitution. How about supporting us?

    • Merlyna G.

      I agree with Wayne; Amen! God bless America! He has done that and I pray that our freedoms will continue; I am a sold out to Jesus Christian but a true Christian would never put a person down for what they believe, no matter what we think; that’s just not right. May God continue to bless this nation that is a light in the darkness. Jesus Christ is Lord and He loves everyone and so do I! I do pray that all will discover Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
      Yes! I agree!

  8. Judith

    I agree with Wayne. I do not need hear about Buddism. If I am interested I can search out the information without your assistance, Mr. Strauss. The ancient wisdom I believe is the truth is from God’s Word. Known to everyone as the Bible.

    • DD

      Amen to that!!

    • Marian M.

      Amen to that. Proverbs 9: 10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

  9. Andy S.

    I personally don’t have a problem that you cite your personal beliefs. But how is it that the U.S. government can promote Buddhism? Would you have dared to print this article if instead you were citing the Bible? I doubt it. Where is the Freedom From Religion society now? What hypocrites. What double standards.

    • kalida


    • Dawn

      What you have failed to read is the beginning: ” During May 1 to 8 Social Security is joining forces with faith-based and community groups across the country to increase awareness about their programs and services”, I don’t think they are necessarily just going to be showing Buddhism but maybe all or some beliefs that some of us don’t know that much about and might like to get a different perspective. I, as a Christian, like finding out what others believe and how it affects their life and possibly mine.

      • Richard

        Thank you Dawn, I was going to point out the same thing..

        • Robert

          I was too so thank you

    • Pamela G.

      And Amen

    • Marc

      Clearly there are very few people on this comment board who actually know how to read, as evidenced by your mischaracterization of yjis article. And obviously none save 3 posters (including myself) have ever even read the actual language of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States – much less that document itself. Anyone who is ignorant of the Constitution, in my opinion, has a nerve to call themselves “Americans.” You people are pathetic.

  10. Wayne

    I find it very interesting that people are prevented from talking/writing/preaching about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith, but we can be preached to about Buddism from a government official. This is clearly a double standard and not appreciated.

    • shu

      I agree with you, at least government agency should not teach religion in their articles.

      • Melinda

        Absolutely agree! I was a little taken back as a Christian to see this in my email this morning. But we know that the world has their faces set against Christ, that is not going to get better and will only get worse.

        • Ice

          Get over it!

          • Pete H.

            Why !. Double standards are pushed down our throat every day concerning religion.

          • Sunentity

            Call the Kettle black! Whose been jamming religion down peoples throats for centuries.The Christian! About time we start applying the Buddhist principals (the Universal Law of Life) to all aspects of life including Government.

    • Roc

      Could be because, First, Buddhism is inclusive and does not impose, and the second reason could be that Buddhism does not preach about God unlike Christianity, which talks about a human being as God. I also don’t believe this article was written by anybody due to their authority in a government position. I also want to point out that contrary to what you have implied, almost all government officials/politicians in our country have used religion, especially Christianity in one way or another to their own benefit.

      • LM

        Absolutely true. The double standard often comes from those of deep faith in a God, rather than in common principles.

    • We a.

      Oh stop, everyday in every way it’s about a Christian GODin this country from sports athletics thanking him, to politicians saying “God bless America”. Buddism is not a religion, it’s a way of life. I am not one but I am open to gaining knowledge about all religions even when it goes against my values and beliefs. . Being closed minded because it threatens you beliefs keeps you ignorant to life. Please become a critical independent thinker and read, study and learn from all sources. It’s how you grow as a person and yes , a Christian.

      • george w.

        Buddism IS recognized worldwide as a religion.

        • Collyn

          It is not a religion it is a philosophy. Worldwide.

          • Robert D.

            Both Merriam Webster and Wickipedia call it a religion. Other sources do call it a philosophy, or just the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama.

      • Joe

        very nice comment

        • Joe

          I liked the we are one comment

    • Anna E.

      I am not a Buddhist.
      This article is not written by a government official. I also do not see it as being preached to and no one is ever stopped from stating their spiritual beliefs. Just listen to our congressmen and and our presidentail candidates.
      Why do some people think that allowing other people their rights somehow threatens their own?

      • John O.

        This site is sponsored by the SS Administration and is monitored by SS employees to give program information. It is not appropriate to be discussing any religion on this site.

        • Ty

          Who are you to determine what this site should be used for? Is that written somewhere?

        • Marc

          Several posters brought up Christianity, Christ, and god. Just sayin’. However, to clarify for those who are all outraged by this government site having the audacity to even mention the name of any religion or belief besides their precious Christianity, let me clarify, because you are all WRONG about what they can and cannot pistol on this site.

          The Constitution prohibits the “state” (meaning the government) from “making [no] law concerning the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Read it if you doubt me; you’ll find it in the First Amendment. Nothing in this article attempts in any way to establish any religion on American citizens as law, nor does it require anyone to do anything. It does not stop anyone, including so-called “christians,” from the free exercise of their religion, either. If you insist on claiming your “Constitutional rights” are being violated all the time, it might be helpful for you to first learn what the Constitution actually says – try reading it sometime. Its really a very short document. And by the way, your nastiness is anything but Christlike, something I’ve noticed on every comment site I’ve ever seen when these self-proclaimed “christians” get all worked up.

    • Trent B.

      Agreed. Still, judgement is not approaching us for our straying from God’s Truth, it is upon us now.

    • manzoor c.

      we all believe and experience in our live a upper power, I name him GOD. All religion believe in LAWS OF NATURE, which narrate human beings welfare, blessings and happiness. Like care for weak, sick, old needing help . I read Dr.Wayne, a God gifted & guided writter.Dr.Wayne admits; ” It is not me myself rather I am so guided.I simply remain connected to my creator ie God”.What I understand and rightly too,when we are connected to creator,we become part of it,as a drop of rain when fall in sea become a sea,so we do.Unluckly religious leaders have raised walls,barriers.We all are children of Adam and Hawan and so are interneted and have right to share God blessing among our selves. ssi system is a one organized organ to help needy persons.I am myself over 80 and social security meet partly my needs.Thanks and hat off for those who devised and are maintaining this system.Talking good and welfare of human beings is a way,you may call it religion.Yes all religions talk for the welfare of humanity except some sick minds ,which we must ignore.STAY HAPPY,TALK GOOD,WORK FOR WELFARE OF HUMANITY AND FOLLOW LAW OF NATURE,which are law of all religions.JOHN COVY,a great writer has talked a lot of LAWW OF NATURE.What is religion,it is a way of life.Don’nt use word religion,say a way of life.
      There is a creator/super- power / God/Ram/Allah/Love,same thing.Love,Love and Love and stay happy.

      • Sheila C.

        You state we all believe & experience in our live’s a higher power and you name him “GOD”. As far as my knowledge goes, God, King, President, Queen, etc, these are all titles. There have been many in the past & ancient times who were referred to as gods. Does this GOD, the higher power you are referring to actually have a name?

    • Joey

      Buddism is not a religion. In other words, the Buddha does not want you to believe, he wants you to seek out the truth–the very essence of philosophical enquiry. So perhaps you should understand the difference between Blind Faith and truth.

      • Newt P.

        Absolutely true! Buddhism essentially enhances your internal seed of love to live by, to live with other people, making this world a nirvana or a true peace for all!

    • Jerry

      I Agree

    • John O.

      Absolutely agree. It must be a slow news day. This post was totally inappropriate on every level. Even if the Constitution allowed for the promotion of religion, this blog is not the place for it. Again it shows the double standard of this administration, or more properly put no standards at all.

      • Marc

        It does allow for this post. You need to READ the Constitution, specifically the First Amendment. This article does not violate any part of the Constitution in any way. See my earlier post for the exact quote from the Constitution.

    • Janet

      Did anyone read the opening paragraph that states that the SS Administration is partnering with faith based groups?? This opinion was solicited and is in no way bashing anyone for not being a believer or follower. If you truly want separation of state and religion, lobby to take religion off of our currency.
      Seek peace.

    • Kahnna F.

      Thank you very much Wayne, very well put. I take this article as a personal insult to all Christians. How dare the Social Security office speak of religion and denounce the use of the freedom to speak about GOD in association with government . GOD bless America.

    • paul

      He is not preaching!! For Buddhist believe in God is optional, so it is possible to be a
      good Buddhist Catholic, I know this because I am one.



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