All people in the world are the children of God the Parent and hence brothers and sisters. God the Parent created us and the world in order to see us lead the Joyous Life respecting and helping one another as brothers and sisters, thereby sharing that joy with us. Thus, respecting and helping one another is fundamental to the way of living intended for human beings.
Some people unwittingly misunderstand God's instruction to respect and help one another. They feel that, because human beings are supposed to help one another, we are justified in demanding another to return a favor. We would do well to remember, however, that God the Parent gave us this instruction just like parents would instruct their children to be nice and help one another. Since we are the children who were given the instruction, all we have to do is respond the instruction by actually putting it into practice, rather than asking another for reciprocal treatment. It is not for us to expect another to help us. We are only to become sincere through and through in helping another.
The stronger our desire to expect a return from another becomes, the harder it becomes to remain content and happy with the way things are. We should forget about reward and return and, instead, focus on exerting our sincerity in helping another. God the Parent will undoubtedly accept our sincerity and bring us salvation, thereby guiding us along the way to greater joy.
There are times when God immediately enables us to experience joy through helping another. Surely, there are also times when we cannot help but wonder if God really receives our sincerity. At times like this, however, let us remain firm in our conviction that the sincerity we exert will certainly be received by God. Let us be clear about the fact that--no matter how unlikely it may appear to us--God can give us great joy under any circumstances. This is how we can each near the Joyous Life.
All of us in the world must awaken to the teaching that human beings are brothers and sisters and must exert our sincerity in helping another without expecting any reward. Only then will the world of the Joyous Life emerge through our respecting and helping one another.
(The above is a translation--first published in the October 1995 issue of TENRIKYO--of an article excerpted from Omichi-no-kotoba by Yoshikazu Fukaya, published by Doyusha Publishing Company.)