Towards Creating a More Just World: A Sestina Poem on My Journey at SUA’s Graduate School by Vicki Mokuria GS '16
My heart came to SUA 20 years before I did because attending SUA was a forgotten dream
that reawakened within me after my children had all grown up and left home.
I loved being a teacher; yet, after “retiring” from teaching for 27 years, I still had a passion
to learn and grow, especially at a university founded by Daisaku Ikeda to create a better world
for all of humanity. I packed up all my belongings and left Texas with my old dog to begin
life anew and embark on an unknown journey to forge a brighter future.
Though I was much older than my classmates, my heart yearned to create a future
for my grandchildren and ALL children where people can live together in harmony and dream
of a time when the divisions that separate us become bridges to unite us…as we begin
a new era based on the pillars of Soka educational philosophy. For 2 years, SUA was home
and I freely studied, engaged in passionate discussions on how to heal our “wounded world.”
We were named the “Soka Six” by our first professor, “Fen,” who shared his love and passion
for education with us. We hailed from Ghana, India and the United States, and the passion
to create a more just world for all people surged through our beings as we imagined the future.
We shared a dream for Soka education on the first day when we determined to hold a World
Summit for Educators, as expressed in a talk in 1996 at Columbia University. It was a dream
of the Founder’s unfulfilled; we placed our hands together and promised that our new home
for the next 2 years would be the site of such an auspicious event. This was the beginning
of our journey together, which was bumpy and challenging along the way as we began
to express our strong personalities. But the uniting force was our shared vision and passion
to actualize the “World Summit of Educators” while struggling to bloom in our new home.
The readings and obtuse ideas we studied, and the writing meant that our visions of the future
be placed on hold so we could complete our studies and not fall behind. So, our faint dream
slipped away as we conducted our research in distant places. It was in Brazil—a world
far away from SUA that we remembered our goal to gather educators of the world
to discuss education and its role in creating peace. We re-awakened our vow at the beginning
of our life-changing journey because we knew in our hearts that this collective dream
to bring educators together from around the globe linked us to the spirit of the Founder and his passion
to create a world abounding with dance, music, culture, and peace now and in the future.
Education is the soil and the soul of rebirth from which this future is born and our shared earth-home
of azure blue and verdant green, historically degraded and abused by collective greed feeling at home—
while it truly must be uprooted from within. Education can reproduce historic wrongs or birth worlds
as yet unimagined from youthful hearts united to create value that will stretch far into the future
to a world we see through the veils of our imagination and dreams. Seeds planted in the beginning
of wonderings at our beautiful campus will sprout, grow and bloom—based on a shared passion
we saw actualized at the World Summit of Educators in 2016 for a landscape imagined in dreams
that WILL become our future—filled with wisdom, compassion, gratitude & peace in our heart-homes.
Our vivid, clear, and certain dreams of a better tomorrow born at SUA will usher in a world
we are now beginning to see through glimpses of our quiet, hidden, volcanic passion.
- Vicki Mokuria