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GOOD PEOPLE CAN BE SUCCESSFUL

 

This title may sound very strange, but I would like to write on the subject because it is something to which most people seldom pay attention.

With few exceptions, those who have notably succeeded in big enterprises, and in small businesses as well, both in the East and in the West, are almost all akunin* (evil, cunning) types of people. There are hardly any zennin** (honest, virtuous) types who are successful.

In reality, it is rather difficult for good, honest people to succeed in business because they tend to be outwitted by shrewd and cunning people. The majority of individuais who are engaged in business do not care whether they cause inconveniences to others and whether they corrupt society, but only try to succeed, even if they have to get around the law to do so. They seem to believe that there is no other alternative if they are to be successful.

When people think about successful individuals, they are likely to conclude that they must be very shrewd and cunning, that they must have surreptitiously done something illegal to obtain their success. Such an impression is often right. Ambitious people who want to be successful generally believe that the smartest way to attain their goals is to do things by hook or by crook and they put their philosophy into practice, sad as that is. I must say this way of thinking is one of the biggest causes of the evils of today's society.

Since people harbor the above impression of successful individuais so that it is indelibly impressed on their minds, they judge our church by the same criterion. Our membership has grown to about three hundred thousand in the course of three to four years, so it is usually counted among the most successful new religions in Japan. Nonmembers in general are inclined to view our church in a distorted fashion and take it for granted at although it is a religion, World Messianity must have done something unsavory in order to become so successful.

Not only the general public but even governmental authorities share this viewpoint to some extent. I am sure this is not mere conjecture on our t. On top of that, secret reports against our church go to the government from people who are jealous of our expansion, from materialistic individuals who are prejudiced against all new religions, and from some individuals who have failed in blackmailing our church. There are distorted reports about our organization printed in newspapers as well. All these things confuse the judgment of government offcials and cause them to keep a close watch on our church out of their sense of responsibility.

The above is the true account of the reason we are criticized so often from so many directions. This emphasizes the fact that there are few truly good people who are successful. We feel it is our duty to eradicate the wrong idea that success cannot be achieved in this world unless something dishonest is done and to establish a precedent that being honest and just is the secret to great success. We are making utmost efforts in these directions.

If we are able to cause this fact to be recognized by people in general, it it will be an infinitely good influence on society as a whole and on the consciousness of individuals as well. I believe such an effort is a major part of the mission a religion is supposed to fulfill.

 

March 18, 1950

 

*Akunin: The word originally meant bad person or bad people. Here, "akunin types of people" means the kinds of individuais who can be shrewd and cunning and will even do something illicit for the purpose of succeeding in life.

**Zennin: Honest, good people who would never do anything immoral or illegal.

 

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