A reflection on our troubled nation

Bishop Eric Matsumoto
June 1, 2020

A reflection on our troubled nation

For the past several days, as I confront the feelings, some of which I am feeling too, of frustration, lament, sadness, and anger being felt by many in our country over the senseless death of George Floyd and others, my heart aches for those who are directly impacted by the racist tendencies and other discriminatory behaviors which are increasingly erupting in our society. The words of the song “Live and Light the World” come mind as I reflect on these tragic events and turn to the Dharma for guidance:

We are born and given life, our own precious life,…
Yet we are like the fabled bird whose two heads do fight,
Blind to the precious life shared…

We are born and given hearts that fills with tears,…
Seeing the hurt we have caused, seeing how we’ve wronged. Sharing our past, our fabled bird does sing a mournful song.
We are born and given hope of dreams shining bright,…

Fabled bird, we heard your song. Sing of hope anew!
Fly with love, now, in chase of dreams. Tomorrow’s dream pursue!

Let’s… live and light the world — let’s all walk hand in hand! Together… let us walk the road to peace.

We must continue to try to overcome discrimination, prejudice, ignorance, and inequality with the understanding that all human life is equally precious and should be respected.

May we be fortified with compassion, perseverance, self-reflection, and nonviolence to achieve the goals of mutual respect, peace, and harmony for all people everywhere through a transformation of our hearts and minds. Let us be guided by an All-Inclusive Wisdom and inspired by an All-Embracing Compassion to work together to become a more just and humane society for all people.

Bishop Eric Matsumoto in ministerial vestments (small thumbnail image)Reverend Eric Matsumoto is the 16th bishop of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.