A Letter to the Thief


Dear Thief who came to Koloa Jodo Mission around 5:40 a.m. on October 26th,

How are you?


It's been a whole day since I chased you at Koloa around 5:40 a.m.   Thank you very much for giving me this rare opportunity.   This was, maybe, the most exciting moment I've ever experienced for 14 years on Kauai.


How about you?   Were you panic, too?  Were you so surprised to see me?


And above all, are you happy you have stolen my Sony movie camera?




I was not happy about it.  I missed it so very much, especially my 32GB memory card which had priceless memories of the Wailuku Jodo Mission's Centennial Luncheon on October 25th.  


I'm writing this letter to ask you to return just contents of the SD card.  I won't ask you to return the materials.  You may keep them.  In addition, I promise I will give you another battery and a charger for the camera only if you can return contents of the SD card.   I already reported this case to Kauai Police, but once again, if you can return the contents of the card, I will never accuse you of stealing.   So please do not delete the contents of the memory!


I am hoping this could be a good deal for you and for me, too.    Just imagine.......for you, without a charger, sooner or later, you cannot operate the camera ever.   For me, without a camera, an extra battery and a charger are quite useless.   They are just piece of junks without a camera.


Though I was so shocked my belongings were stolen by you, however, I've quickly found the way to be happy again.    


Why?   This is very important. 


 It's because I'm one of the most happy philosophical minister who have known the way to return to be happy.   That's why I can now thank you for giving me this experience.   


You actually made me recall why I decided to dedicate myself to the missionary of Jodo Buddhism.   It was because I had experiences to be saved by the teachings and practice of Nenbutsu.   And because a bad person like me, was saved, I wanted other people, too, to be saved from the miserable conditions of life. 


From Buddha's eyes, you and I are not different.    We are both ignorant and greedy people.   However, Buddha was the one who sincerely made vows to save those in sufferings and poverty.   


You made me realize....Buddhist teachings exists for me and for you, too.


Stealing is not the way to be happy.   You may be temporarily glad that you were not caught by me nor police.  


However, I'm sure, you have now many concerns that you might be arrested.   Because you couldn't get a battery charger, you need to but it or steal it again.   Even though you could get a charger, every time when you use the camera, you would remember an excited experience that you were chased by me.  Or maybe, you stole it to get some cash, however, in order to get some money, you need to work harder to sell old model of the camera.   


By the way, have you realized you stole a surprise present, too!


There are two videos of the sermons  at the past Sunday services inside the internal embedded memory of the camera.     


You will be amazed by the coincidence that I was talking about the true meanings of the five precepts of Buddhism, including "do not steal!"   So I want you to watch it, since you have a camera to do it. 




Last but not least, I apologize to my neighbors  since I kept ringing the panic sound from the car and shouted "call 911!" while I was chasing the guy.


Also my apology to Rev. John, members and friends of Wailuku Jodo Mission since precious records were stolen.