"Embrace Change: Harmony (Accept Differences)" overlaid on a world map with rainbow theme

Unofficial graphic representation of the 2018 slogan. By David Atcheson with help from Pixabay.

This article by Buddhist Study Center director, Rev. Kevin Kuniyuki, is reprinted from the December 2017 Headquarters Update, newsletter of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.

This year’s slogan, “Embrace Change: Harmony (Accept Differences),” is part of a set of five slogans:

  • 2015-Embrace Change: Awareness (Seek Opportunities)
  • 2016-Embrace Change: New Vision (Create Engagement)
  • 2017-Embrace Change: Action (Open Communications)
  • 2018-Embrace Change: Harmony (Accept Differences)
  • 2019-Embrace Change: Transformation (Walk in peace)

These slogans are meant as guides to help us and our temple communities move forward to EMBRACE CHANGE in a continuous cycle beginning with AWARENESS, that brings to us an understanding of ourselves and the world around us, which allows us to create a NEW VISION that provides the framework for ACTION in a mindful and empathetic manner that maintains HARMONY with people and the environment, which then culminates in a TRANSFORMATION. This TRANSFORMATION is a basis for lives that are continuously full of growth and meaningful experiences that are supported by a dynamic and vibrant temple community.

Harmony with our families, temple communities, neighborhoods, and the wider world is very much needed during this time. But harmony can only arise if we can accept ourselves as we are and other people are they are. In other words, Accept Differences realizing that everyone, including ourselves, have different ways of seeing things and different ways of doing things. Amida Buddha, in Great Compassion, fully understands this reality and therefore, accepts all without discrimination and sets the example for us to aspire to.

As ordinary human beings, it is very difficult to live a life of perfect non-discrimination. However, with awareness of self and helping each other through the journey of life we can live together harmoniously guided by the light of Wisdom and Compassion.

In Gassho,
Rev. Kevin Kuniyuki
Director, Office of Buddhist Education and the HHMH Commission on Buddhist Education