Five years ago on March 11, 2011 at 14:46 (March 10 @19:46 in Hawaii), the megathrust earthquake happened. Immediately after this caused Tsunami and Nearly 20,000 people died and 6,000 people got injured. 45,700 buildings were destroyed and lots of people are still having hard times for living.
Five years have passed. What can I do from Hawaii? And what can I teach my children?
This year, I did something different. I prepared dinner which my children loved to eat; Poke, Steak, Caesar Salada, Jell-o and ice-cream. Before "Itadakimasu", I asked them "what is today?" "What is this occasion?" They imagined of some kind of celebrations but of course, not. They got an answer when I gave them a hint, "3.11." I started a short sermon to my children.
"Yes, today is a memorial day when many people died by the natural disaster. Of course, in the past in the world, there were many more incidents to remember....tremendously many people died. But I want you to remember this 3.11 as a reminder of the tragedy could happen anytime. Happiness can become easily "unhappiness." We can easily lose what we have. That happened five years ago.
Look at all the good food which you love! Don't you think you are happy? Many people died of tsunami and many people couldn't eat good food. So I want you to be grateful for this moment and I want you to feel how happy you are to have your parents, house, school, friends and good food today. You must be happy right? OK. That's all I want you to know today. Namu Amida Butsu. Itadakimasu!"
It is my belief to realize "my" happiness is the way to help other people. Without my happiness, how can I offer kindness to others? Without my happiness, how can I help other people? So I wanted my children to spend happy time with happy meal together.
After dinner at 7:46p.m., we had a livestreaming memorial service. This service is of course for the victims of the disasters, but true purpose of having this service is for myself to realize happiness that I can have a peaceful service today at peaceful environment at Koloa. Yes, I can clearly say I am happy. And because I am happy, I want to be kind to others and be helpful for others.
Namu Amida Butsu