Today, I was walking through Kupuohi Street with my female friends Stacey and Vaughn, greeting neighbors and passing out my fliers on policy I worked on for Hawaii as I have done in the past four years. I knocked on one door and it seemed nobody was home so I moved on. All of a sudden, this guy came out of his garage and started yelling at me, and said he was going to grab his shotgun and shoot me for leaving my flier on his door. In the past, I have been sweared at and yelled at by some people, but this was the first time someone threatened to kill me. I told him I was just trying to be accessible to my constituents (so they could talk to me about anything if they wanted to) and that I didn't mean to bother him. He told his son to get his shotgun and instead, he headed to get it. I decided to just walk away with my two friends. He yelled again as we walked away. Unreal yeah?
In my 2004 election, my father, a good family friend, and an older lady supporter dropped off some of my information pieces on Kahakea Street. Then this guy without his shirt with a lot tattoos started yelling at them about leaving my information pieces. He started yelling about how he is a cop and made all "big body" to three 60-year-olds. The irony is, I supported legislation to help police officers. No shame that kind.
This is my advice to all of you. There will be times whether in person or on the road, you will face people who threaten you. Just stay calm and walk away. It is not worth dealing with people who cannot control their anger because the crazy thing is, if you confront them, they may harm you or even try to kill you, or you may do something in self-defense that could get you into some legal battles. We have seen some examples of this in the news. It is not worth it. Of course, report it to the police, if your life was indeed threatened. The way you can counter the negative people in our society is by being a good person to others. Channel negative energy and use it to do something postive, as practiced in Aikido and Buddhism.
Some of my friends and family think I am crazy that I am in politics. I have to admit, sometimes I think it is crazy. However, you know what keeps me going? There are a lot of good people out there that I want to work hard for so that they can be safe and have opportunities to live a good life. There are also a number of people that brainstorm with me on ideas to better society instead of just complain. We can't let the negative people ruin everything. That is what keeps me going. I will take the hits for them.
Take care of yourselves and enjoy life to the fullest.
With Warmest Aloha,
Jon Riki Karamatsu