I suspect my sense of anxiety and the diminished state of my inner spirit is shared by more than just a few of you who have had to weather the collapse of civility and human dignity that has hovered over America this presidential election year.
The pummeling of America by mainstream media with their angling of news reporting that reached out and squeezed the public jugular (which was great for ratings) had the chilling effect of manifesting the worst of who we are as a people. I have a growing sense of urgency that we somehow have to turn our condition of existence from a hateful battle of Us and Them, Red and Blue, to a sense of mutual respect and tolerance expressed as a We. Somehow we have to rekindle our belief in the words of our founding fathers that we are “One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
So as we ready ourselves for the fast approaching holiday season let us begin the healing by acting out the lyrics of pop composer Burt Bacharach whose song was sung so powerfully by Dionne Warwick and Jackie DeShannon, simply, “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
It is times like this that I count my blessings to live in the Aloha state. Not that we are totally immune from being impacted by the national psyche of an us-and-them reality – but – that the very nature of Hawai‘i’s cultural diversity and the deeply imbedded sense of aloha we have as people of Hawai‘i is a very precious gift we should never take for granted.
Let us make this a very special season of aloha. Let us celebrate the word aloha by acting out its deepest meanings. Aloha – to exchange the breath of life and accept responsibility for each other’s safety and well-being. Aloha – to respect and love all of God’s creations. Aloha – to celebrate who we are in our diversity with an emphasis on those things that join us together as one people, respecting our differences, but moving toward a shared future of tolerance and co-existence.
President John Kennedy said it all, “Hawai‘i is what the world is striving to be like.” Let us rejoice in our humanity and good fortune of being of this place called Hawai‘i.
‘Tis the Season of Aloha. Hawai‘i loa kū like kākou. All Hawai‘i stand together.