Bishop Matsumoto gives Senate “Moment of Contemplation” on April 24

On April 24, 2023, Bishop Eric Matsumoto gave the “Moment of Contemplation” on the floor of the Hawaii State Senate. Per Senate rules, these offerings are limited to 90 seconds and may not mention any specific deity or religion.

Bishop used the moment to relate the story of “The Four Harmonious Friends,” a favorite of the Bhutanese people. Here is the text of his remarks.

Aloha Kākou.

The Four Harmonious Friends artwork
Painting of “The Four Harmonious Friends”

In the presence of All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion, let us pause to reflect and aspire.

More than ever, it is quite apparent that what our world really needs is more balance, harmony and respect.

I would like to share a story entitled “The Four Harmonious Friends” which though of ancient origin is still quite pertinent for us of modern times. It centers around 4 animal friends, an elephant, monkey, rabbit, and bird and their relationship to a large fruit-bearing tree.

The bird planted the seed, it was watered by the rabbit, fertilized by the monkey and protected by the elephant. Though the animals were quite different from each other through their combined cooperative efforts, the seed grew into a large tree which provided much sustenance and protection for not only the 4 friends, but many others too. The story emphasizes the virtues of friendship, unity, selflessness, cooperation, caring for the environment, and mutual respect.

Today, in you, our elected leaders, we entrust the future of our community and State and even matters connected to the world. May your deliberations and decisions be both wise and compassionate benefitting not one, but all. May All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion nurture and motivate you, ad infinitum.

Thank you.