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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. Tony

    Think I may become an atheist. I can no longer tell the difference between politics and all the various “religions.”

  2. M

    Personally, I found it interesting and not the least bit threatening. Just sounds like the same wisdom and urging I hear from many different sources. Common sense to plan for the future.

  3. Donald M.

    Reading and hearing the word of God doesn’t displease anyone who desires an open mind about religious or philosophical convictions. Knowing about the history of the US and how the Holy Bible has influenced historical values of how our democratic republic has evolved, only goes to show that in the market place of ideas that’s where real freedom is found. And it’s where real freedom is exercised! What’s wrong with citizens who do or do not work for the Social Security Administrating ( SSA ) leading the discussion about government benefits for the elderly who are poor and disabled? It’s just that our Faith and Public Sector Communities don’t have the partnerships in reality that Washington is already exclaiming about. Can lies and distortions come to an end. Maybe, it would do a whole lot of good if prayer is reintroduced back into the public school system. Making sure that provisions go to the elderly, who are disproportionately poor and disabled, in a mass consumer society, is a wonderful witness but it eliminated homelessness!

    Maybe, this national malady could be eliminated if there were more thoughtful discussion between the federal government and the actual citizens that pay taxes or even benefit from those same taxes because of their extreme poverty conditions. Anyway, I believe in Christians witnessing until the 2nd Advent of our Lord and until then I think that all of us should encourage public government to come out of the closet and give its gratitude to the churches all around America which serves as beacons of light guiding and sustaining all in our collective efforts to overcome ignorance of the real and true Sabbath. We must leave this darkness forever. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!

  4. Marian M.

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

  5. elli

    it irritates me that you tell us how much good it does for us to save our money … and I keep thinking yeah, so Congress can raid the fund and use it as they like, but phooey on me getting any cost of living raise … I no longer trust the gov’t and/or social security

  6. Mark

    Wasn’t the point of talking about Buddhism really about saving for our future. I think the author was merely making a comparison, not talking religion.

    • Kathy

      I AGREE. I am disgusted by how negative everyone is. No wonder our country is a mess. We look for something wrong in everything we do and read.

  7. Roc

    What’s very funny and disturbing is, if the same article were published but all the Buddhist references were changed to Christian references, the same people who are now posting against it would totally be defending it in the name of their faith, country, and anything else they can hijack to group together and move their illogical arguments around. The moral of the story is: Stupid people will do stupid things, accept it and move on.

  8. Dennis D.

    My enjoyment of this article was greatly lessened by the petty comments which followed it !

  9. JOYCE S.


  10. Take A.

    Social Security is doing a great job! And to keep it strong we all have to do our part as well!

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