A commitment to human rights cannot be fostered simply through the transmission of knowledge. Action and experience play a crucial role in the learning process.
A great revolution in just one single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a society and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of humankind.
A healthy vision of the future is not possible without an accurate knowledge of the past.
A person, who no matter how desperate the situation, gives others hope, is a true leader.
Dialogue and education for peace can help free our hearts from the impulse toward intolerance and the rejection of others.
Divorced from the cosmos, from nature, from society and from each other, we have become fractured and fragmented.
Genuine happiness can only be achieved when we transform our way of life from the unthinking pursuit of pleasure to one committed to enriching our inner lives, when we focus on 'being more' rather than simply having more.
History is filled with tragic examples of wars that result from diplomatic impasse. Whether in our local communities or in international relations, the skillful use of our communicative capacities to negotiate and resolve differences is the first evidence of human wisdom.
Humanity has experienced many revolutionary changes over the course of history: revolutions in agriculture, in science, industrial production, as well as numerous political revolutions. But these have all been limited to the external aspects of our individual and collective lives.
I believe that we must maintain pride in the knowledge that the actions we take, based on our own decisions and choices as individuals, link directly to the magnificent challenge of transforming human history.
I firmly believe that the mission of religion in the 21st century must be to contribute concretely to the peaceful coexistence of humankind.
I have for some time urged that a nuclear abolition summit to mark the effective end of the nuclear era be convened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 70th anniversary of the bombings of those cities, with the participation of national leaders and representatives of global civil society.
In the past, human society provided encouragement and opportunity for people to extend support to each other, especially in highly stressful situations.
It is only through such real-life daily struggles and challenges that a genuine sensitivity to human rights can be inculcated. This is a truth that is not limited to school education: it applies to all of us.
Leadership that exploits and sacrifices young people on the altar of its goals is nothing more than raw, demonic power. Genuine leadership is found in ceaseless efforts to foster young people, to pave the way forward for them.
Likewise, education can direct people toward good or evil ends. When education is based on a fundamentally distorted worldview, the results are horrific.
Living here on Earth, we breathe the rhythms of a universe that extends infinitely above us. When resonant harmonies arise between this vast outer cosmos and the inner human cosmos, poetry is born.
Men and women who know the brutal reality of war, who know that war strips people of their very humanity, must unite in a new global partnership for peace.
No one can live entirely on their own, nor can any country or society exist in isolation.
No one should be left to suffer alone.
Rather than turning away from the staggering scale and depth of misery caused by war, we must strive to develop our capacity to empathize and feel the sufferings of others.
Since ancient times, people from throughout Asia have brought to Japan their talents, knowledge and energy, helping to lay the basis for Japan's existence as a country.
The effects of human rights education can be dramatic in awakening people to the value and power of their own lives, as shown in the following stories.
The gratification of desire is not happiness.
The wisdom and experience of older people is a resource of inestimable worth. Recognizing and treasuring the contributions of older people is essential to the long-term flourishing of any society.
There are no greater treasures than the highest human qualities such as compassion, courage and hope. Not even tragic accident or disaster can destroy such treasures of the heart.
To communicate the truths of history is an act of hope for the future.
Ultimately, all human activities have as their goal the realization of happiness. Why, then, have we ended up producing the opposite result? Could the underlying cause be our failure to correctly understand the true nature of happiness?
We are not merely passive pawns of historical forces nor are we victims of the past. We can shape and direct history.
When human beings live together, conflict is inevitable. War is not.
When one takes action for others, one's own suffering is transformed into the energy that can keep one moving forward a light of hope illuminating a new tomorrow for oneself and others is kindled.
Where there is an absence of international political leadership, civil society should step in to fill the gap, providing the energy and vision needed to move the world in a new and better direction.
With love and patience, nothing is impossible.
Women are, in my view, natural peacemakers. As givers and nurturers of life, through their focus on human relationships and their engagement with the demanding work of raising children and protecting family life, they develop a deep sense of empathy that cuts through to underlying human realities.