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NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE Michael Munekiyo, Chairman of the Board

ALWAYS SEEKING TO UNDERSTAND the unique values and perspectives among generations, I recently asked a twentysomething, “what excites you in life”? She responded with a simple answer, “Oh, so many things”. Responding to my further inquiry, she conveyed her excitement about growing in her new career. She explained the challenge and excitement of finding a new house. She saw the many opportunities of helping those around her who needed help. How wonderful, I thought to myself.


As a 66-year old, I recalled that time in my life when the future yielded unending possibilities. And I too, remembered how exciting and positively challenging life was when I was a twenty-something. I dreamed of someday having a family around me. I dreamed of someday having a business which would allow me to express my individuality. Of course, as an idealistic young person, I also dreamed of early retirement and traveling the world. While not all of my twenty-something dreams were realized, I am extremely grateful for my life’s journey, with all of its ups, downs, and “wigs and wags”.

How about you? Whether you are a twenty-something, a thirty-something, a forty-something, or older, have you taken time to reflect upon your life’s journey? Have you thought about the gratitude you hold for those years behind you? While the New Year’s occasion is a convenient time for contemplating and appreciating our life’s journey, we should probably do it more often. Everyday moments in life, each day of the year, such as picking up and reading this edition of the Wailuku Hongwanji Newsletter, is worthy of celebration.

Whatever generation you belong to and however far along in your life’s journey you are, how would you now answer the question, “what excites you in life”. As a Baby Boomer, my answers are simple: I’m excited about greeting each morning; I am excited to hear about the goings-on of my family members who live afar. And perhaps still within reach, although not completely aligned with my twenty-something dream, I am excited about retiring someday and traveling the world.

As we greet and receive the New Year of 2018, let us all, young and old, remember that LIFE EXCITES, and no matter what circumstances we encounter, our search for things that excite and give meaning to our lives are always within reach.

Namu Amida Butsu

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