November 8, 2014

There are 2 ways to live and succeed, the negative way or the positive way. I sincerely appreciate all of you for your positive way of living and for spreading love and compassion to every person you interact with. You’re truly playing a role in world peace because you’re helping so many people attain peace within, and in time when a majority of the human race are at peace within, a majority of the world will be at peace. I dedicate this song, “I Lived” by One Republic to all of you!

“A Candle for Peace”

Peace begins with us

By Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu

September 20, 2009

On Monday, September 21, 2009, Hawaii will celebrate its 3rd annual Peace Day. In 2007 Hawaii became the first state in the nation to commemorate its own Peace Day annually, a day also marked around the world as the United Nations International Day of Peace.

It is a day of global ceasefire and nonviolence that each member state of the United Nations agreed upon. It is also a day in which each one of us can do something for peace, no matter how big or small.

Last year 1.4 million children living in volatile areas of Afghanistan were given polio vaccinations. The significance of this event was that the Taliban did not interfere and pledged to not harm any vaccination teams.

Peace Day is a universal effort. However, it must begin within us, our homes, our schools, and our communities. This is why I introduced legislation officially recognizing Peace Day in Hawaii on behalf of the members of the Hawaii Federation of Junior Young Buddhist Associations.

An ad hoc Peace Day Hawaii Committee, which I have served as chair since its establishment, was formed in 2007 to plan annual events. It includes leaders from state government, not-for-profit organizations and peace-education community. Each year the committee plans an educational forum and celebratory ceremony to be held on or around Peace Day.

The committee has hosted forums on international relations and bullying in schools, and has held Peace Day ceremonies, which include guest speakers, entertainment, the presentation of the Peace Day Hawaii Award, and a unified candlelight ceremony.

Past award recipients were the late U.S. Senator Spark M. Matsunaga, an advocate for world peace throughout his political career and Dr. Glenn D. Paige, a university professor who taught nonviolence education and founded the Center for Nonviolence.

This year, we are honoring Scot Matayoshi, a former teacher at Nanakuli High and Intermediate School, who created the Peacemakers Club to help students make good decisions and advocate for nonviolence in their school.  As you can see from these extraordinary peace leaders, peace can be achieved at all levels: around the world, in our communities, and within ourselves.

One Peace Day Hawaii objective is to educate residents – especially our children – about the existence of Peace Day and encourage them to think about what they can do to make Hawaii a better place to live in, to make the phrase “lucky we live Hawaii” true every day.

This year, despite the dismal economy, the Legislature protected monies for legal services for survivors of violence, and updated harassment and temporary restraining order laws. However, we must get to the root of where the cycle of violence can be broken: our keiki.  One way to do this is to implement a nonviolence education program for our public schools that includes education on conflict resolution, discrimination, harassment, bullying, sexual assault, and domestic violence.  We need to put more emphasis on education and awareness and be proactive rather than reactive.

Hawaii can play a major role in international peace. We have a unique society with a variety of cultures and traditions that we share with each other. One of my long-term political goals is to create an “Aloha Mission” to the Middle East region to support our Hawaii troops, meet with political leaders, exchange culture, and provide medicine and toys for children.

Many people shy away from peace initiatives because they think that one person cannot make a difference. That is wrong. We can all make a commitment to strive to embody the Aloha spirit through acts of compassion, acceptance and understanding. Peace must first start within us. Compassionate actions from one person can make a huge impact, and all our actions combined will help the world reach our goal of celebrating peace 365 days a year.

I urge all of you to do something that symbolizes what peace means to you on Peace Day. It can be anything that helps or educates yourself, your neighbors or the world. You could make a donation to a charity, take a moment for self-reflection and personal development, ruminate on best non-violent responses during conflicts, talk about Peace Day with your children, create a recycling bin for your home, plant a vegetable garden, or attend one of the many Peace Day events around the state.

The State Capitol will host two public events. There will be a forum on “Sustainability in the Schools” from 12 – 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, 2009 and a Peace Day Hawaii Celebration Ceremony from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. On September 21, 2009. Betty Williams, a Nobel Peace Laureate will speak at both events.

“If Everyone Cared” by Nickelback

August 8, 2008


My Strategy to Heal Our Soul and Keep Our Lives Positive


Dear Friends:


            All the laws I create and all the monies I appropriate for our community are not complete if I know many people are still suffering because they are angry or sad.  Unfortunately, policies and funds can only reach so far.  I entered politics with hopes that I can play a role in bettering people’s lives.


            In the past, I have achieved goals and experienced happy times.  However, I have also made mistakes and experienced sad times.  After years of trying to find an answer to achieving a happy and fulfilling life, all my ideas and life experiences came together in the past two years, and I created a strategy to help myself in my personal struggles and in my quest to be compassionate, happy, and at peace.


Sometimes the pain we feel can be overbearing.  There are so many people who are impatient, angry, and full of hatred.  At the extreme, there are people who assault, rape, and murder.  All of these negative acts by individuals lead to suffering for everyone involved.  Many of us experience other types of suffering such as the death of a loved one, health challenges, loss of a job, financial difficulty, regret, insecurity, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, divorce, or a broken heart.  At times, our worse enemy is ourselves.  We can be hard on ourselves and unsatisfied with our lives.  Therefore, I am sharing with you my strategy to keep our lives positive and happy despite all the negativity we face.


We can’t let the negative energy take the best of us.  We must strive to stay positive and achieve happiness and peace.  I dedicate this strategy to many of you who are going through tough challenges in life.  I am happy to share with you some of the things I do to keep my life tipped towards the positive.  It has helped me a lot, and I hope at least some of it may be helpful for you as well.  Although I may not know all of you personally, I want you to know that a bit of my spirit is there with you.  I only wish the best for you and your family.


With Warmest Aloha,


Jon Riki Karamatsu

State Representative

41st District: Waikele, Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu



My Strategy to Heal Our Soul and Keep Our Lives Positive


            I dedicate my strategy for those of you facing difficult challenges.  We get knocked down but we get back up again.  We can come back against negativity a hundred fold stronger and send out waves of positive influence that will help others facing challenges as well.  I list my strategy to heal our soul, mind, and body from negativity.  I hope at least some of my strategy is helpful for you.


            First, enjoy and appreciate your loved ones.  I love my family so much.  They have always been there for me through good times and bad.  I also have several close friends who I can seek advice or express myself.


            Second, music can uplift your spirit and inspire you.  Create a play list of songs to help you as you go through different situations in your life.


            Third, creative writing can be a nice way to release your emotions.  On the evening of October 11, 2006 and the morning of October 12, 2006, I couldn’t sleep, and I came up with a fictional story that I have been writing.  The story has tragedy, romance, spirituality, and a touch of politics.  When, I finish, I hope to share it with everyone.


            Fourth, paintings and drawings can be enjoyable.  In my state capitol office, I chose paintings that give me positive energy.  My favorite painting is a chair created by different shades of red by Tadashi Sato.


            Fifth, enjoy movies and television shows that make you happy or take you into the world of imagination.


            Sixth, meditation is a great way to clear your mind and relax your body.  You can do this sitting down or lying down.


            Seventh, meditate or pray to develop insight and wisdom through seeing the true nature of reality.  Reflect on yourself and look into how you can improve.  Fill your mind with positive thoughts and positive actions that you would like to do in the future.  Concentrate on potential negative situations, and how you can resolve these conflicts peacefully, or at least minimize the negative outcome.


Eighth, in meditation or prayer, send your love to yourself (your soul).  We need to heal and strengthen ourselves so we can spread positive energy to others.


            Ninth, in meditation or prayer, send your love to your family, friends, teachers of compassion, and others (living and/or passed away).


            Tenth, in meditation or prayer, send your love to your ancestors, even those you have never met.


            Eleventh, in meditation or prayer, send your love out to people you wronged or whose feelings you hurt (living and/or passed away).


            Twelfth, in meditation or prayer, send your love to your opponents and enemies (living and/or passed away).


            Thirteenth, in meditation or prayer, send your love to people you don’t know (living and/or passed away). 


            Fourteenth, enjoy the pleasures of nature such as the ocean, forest, mountains, clouds, blue sky, stars, moon, meteor showers, snow, rain, rainbow, rivers, ponds, lakes, and cherry blossom trees.


            Fifteenth, create a pleasant environment in or outside of your home such as plants, flowers, water displays, light displays, candles, or art.  In my second floor townhouse, I have a fifty five gallon tank that displays a beautiful Koi fish that has the colors white, black, red, and orange.  It is very soothing to watch ornamental fish in a beautiful tank.  If I ever bought a house with a yard, I would love to have a Japanese Zen garden.


            Sixteenth, pleasant aromas can help relax you such as candles, oils, plants, and flowers.


            Seventeenth, pamper your body by getting a massage or taking a nice hot bath.  In Japan, I tried their hot spring water baths (onsen) and it was very relaxing.


            Eighteenth, exercise helps you to counter negative energy by releasing endorphins that make you feel good.  An improvement in your physical appearance and good health can boost positive energy within you.  I like to lift weights and run.  It helps to relieve my stress and anxiety.


            Nineteenth, participate in activities that you enjoy.  Not everything should be work.  Have fun as well!  Attend social events, join organizations, and play sports.


            Twentieth, eat a well-balanced diet to keep your body and mind nourished.  I am tying to eat more vegetables, fruits, fiber, and lean meats.  I enjoy green tea, which has Vitamin C and antioxidants.


            Twenty-first, get enough sleep.  You need rest to replenish your energy, which you will need to be productive and positive.


            Twenty-second, it is great to just close your eyes and dream away.


            Twenty-third, write all your goals down.  Create short-term goals and long-term goals.  Reward yourself when you achieve your goals such as new clothes or a trip to Las Vegas depending on the difficulty of your goals.  Goals and rewards give you something to look forward to.  I strategize all the time for business, politics, community service, and my personal life.


            Twenty-fourth, understand that there is no such thing as failure.  The most important thing is that you tried your best.  You learn from everything you strive for.  With hard work, other opportunities may arise.  As the saying goes, “When one door closes, other doors may open.”


            Twenty-fifth, when confronted by angry and unreasonable people, just apologize and leave the situation.


            Twenty-sixth, help others.  Small Acts of kindness can go a long way such as smiling or saying something nice to someone.  Support a loved one going through personal challenges.  You can also do big acts of kindness such as helping those less fortunate or those facing physical or mental challenges.  Contribute to the world with an open and caring heart.


            Twenty-seventh, try to save others even if you can’t save yourself.  If everyone believed in this theory, one day when you need help, someone will be there to support you.


            Twenty-eighth, surround yourself with positive people that embody compassion, happiness, and peace.


            Twenty-ninth, train under an organization, a philosophy, a religion, or a spiritual healer that can help you in your quest to be compassionate, happy, and at peace.


            Thirtieth, even with all your efforts, your personal challenges may still be overbearing, thus, professional support can be helpful in such times.  Consult with a psychiatrist or psychologist.




Compassion Can Help Us Achieve Happiness, Personal Peace, and World Peace


Dear Friends:


            We can all play a role in making our community, country, and world more peaceful.  The practice of compassion can lead one to happiness, and the combination of compassion and happiness can ultimately lead you to be at peace within, the ultimate bliss.  Peace cannot exist without compassion and happiness.


            Therefore, we must strive to be compassionate instead of angry, happy instead of sad, and at peace rather than in turmoil.  We all face this struggle within us and there are many negative people that may never tip towards the positive.  I feel there is currently more negative energy than positive in the world.  People are more impatient, angry, and full of hatred, which only leads to suffering for everyone.  Negative people affect other people and it goes on and on with waves of negative impact and influence.


            On the other hand, when we practice compassion, we can impact and influence many people with waves and waves of positive energy.  Therefore, we must do all we can to counter negativity with compassion and tip the balance towards the positive.  I like to see it as taking negative energy and converting it to positive energy.


            Through the practice of compassion, we appreciate life and everything around us, and we are aware of the suffering around us.  The definition of happiness may change.  Even the simple pleasures become very important.  We become happy a majority of the time.  We may never be 100% compassionate and happy, but we must strive for this highest goal.  Only through our determination to reach this highest goal, will we become compassionate and happy for a great majority of the time, and as a result, many of us will understand the meaning of life, our surroundings, and finally, the answer to peace.  When a majority of us are compassionate, happy, and at peace, a majority of the world will be at peace.  In this chapter, I share with you the strategy I use to practice compassion as we strive to achieve happiness and peace.

With Warmest Aloha,


Jon Riki Karamatsu

State Representative

41st District: Waikele, Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu



Compassion Can Help Us Achieve Happiness, Personal Peace, and World Peace

In life, there is suffering, a cause to suffering, and a way to end or minimize our suffering.  I have made mistakes in my life.  I am trying hard to better myself using a strategy that can be practiced everyday.  This strategy is called “The Eightfold Path” or the strategy to end or minimize our suffering.  In school, sports, and work, we keep studying and training until we master our skills.  Likewise, in our lives, we must master our thoughts and actions to be compassionate instead of filled with anger and other negative emotions, and as a result, we will be able to be happy and ultimately achieve peace within, the ultimate bliss.  The answer to compassion, happiness, and peace is within each of us.  Thus, only through each of us, can we achieve world peace.  The strategy is as follows:


1.  Right View: Believe in the law of cause and effect and not to be deceived by appearances and bad desires.

2.  Right Thought: The resolution not to cherish bad desires, not to be greedy, not to be angry, and not to do any harmful deed.

3.  Right Speech: The avoidance of lying words, idle words, abusive words, and double tongues.

4.  Right Behavior: Not to destroy any life or steal.

5.  Right Livelihood: Avoid any life that would bring shame.

6.  Right Effort: Try to do one’s best diligently toward the right direction.

7.  Right Mindfulness: Maintain a pure and thoughtful mind.

8.  Right Concentration: Keep the mind right and tranquil for its concentration, seeking to realize the mind’s pure essence.


            I believe we can achieve compassion, happiness, and peace in our personal lives, and in my dream, I believe we and many others can strengthen the foundation built by our predecessors and influence a majority of the world to be peaceful long after we pass away.  Only together can we ensure the balance is tipped towards the positive.  I wish you and your loved ones only the best!

Peace Day Hawaii 2009 Ceremony

September 21, 2009

4:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M.

Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda

The 3rd Annual Peace Day Hawaii ceremony will include a keynote speech by Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams, entertainment, Peace Day Hawaii Award, and a silent candlelight vigil.  Please bring lawn chairs as seating is limited.