The Young Men’s Association held its 5th Arakitoryo Nurturing Course on November 27 at the Home of the Parent. The course aimed at raising the association members’ awareness about providing care and nurture for the young.
This event came at a time when the Shinbashira’s Instruction Two, announced at the Autumn Grand Service, is stressing the necessity of “cultivating the mind of saving others and . . . implementing salvation work,” thus implying that one of Tenrikyo’s most pressing needs is to nurture Yoboku who can genuinely help others be saved. The Shinbashira indicated a key factor in nurturing and developing human resources during his address at the Young Men’s Association Convention held on the day after the Grand Service. “What we must bear in mind,” he said, “is that those of us who are in a position to nurture others ought to set an example through our own actions and attitudes rather than merely telling others what to do.” At the Student Nurturers Convention held on November 25, he reiterated the importance of the spiritual growth of those who guide and nurture others. “If we want young people to grow into fine Yoboku, it is important for us to first make the effort to nurture ourselves and become fine Yoboku,” he said.
The Arakitoryo Nurturing Course featured lectures by Honbu-in Motoo Matsuda, chairman of the board of trustees of Tenri Seminary Corporation, and by Psychologist Kazuo Hayakashi, who heads a mission station. Honbu-in Matsuda emphasized that the basis of nurturing others is one’s own effort to follow the path toward spiritual maturity–a process that entails transformation from the desire to be saved to the desire to help others be saved, ever nearing the Parent’s intention to save all people throughout the world. Endeavoring to nurture others, he said, could accelerate one’s own spiritual growth.
Honbu-in Matsuda went on to say that one important thing in working with others is to try to promote their positive aspects rather than suppress their negative aspects. Praising, he said, is an effective way to motivate people in this regard. He also reminded his listeners of the importance of sowing seeds of sincerity as well as showing their energy and vitality that befit their role as pioneers of the path, who are to take the lead at the forefront of the path.
Psychologist Hayakashi stressed the need to be a good listener who is open-minded rather than caught up in one’s own point of view. This, he said, is extremely important if we are to engage in meaningful dialogue with whoever we are seeking to nurture. He said that those endeavoring to nurture others ought to try to recognize and accept individual characteristics and capacities, whose development could profitably be encouraged. Someone’s characteristic thought to be a shortcoming from one point of view could well be seen as a positive quality from another. He indicated that one of the key elements needed to make any association or church activity successful is that all participants feel comfortable and know that they belong.