Awoke with a headache today after too much sugar last night, so took a short walk with Koko in the silent gray of a cloudy Sunday morning and we both went back to bed. Dreamed of a Kauai with drilling rigs in the reef, decaying oceanfront mansions and an aerial gondola occupied by a smattering of tourists, although every other bucket carried a sharpshooter, patrolling the place. Needless to say, my headache was worse.
But New Dimensions, one of my favorite radio shows, carried a program that helped set me right. Buddhism teacher Sylvia Boorstein, speaking on the topic of “Our Natural Goodness,” made the observation that “when we’re not pre-occupied with self-serving things … we’re compassionate animals …. and those thoughts invigorate me as a human being.”
She went on to say, “it’s all about connection,” and that made me think of UH Warriors quarterback Colt Brennan. While waiting to interview a local restaurateur yesterday afternoon, I happened to see Colt interviewed on TV for the Heisman Trophy award ceremony.
Colt said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that he came to Hawaii looking for a change, and was gratified to discover that it didn’t matter what kind of car he drove, or if he had money. Only his character counted, Colt said, and if you’re a good person, the Islanders will take you in.
Colt’s observations made me think about the comments left by Gadfly on this blog, comments that frequently belittle the local lifestyle and kanaka maoli beliefs, especially those related to burials; comments that celebrate his accumulation of wealth and choice to live apart from the greater community, laughing with the other segregated ex-pats at the eccentricities of the inferior local culture.
Both Colt and Gadly came here from someplace else. Colt recognized the value of community and embraced local culture, and in return, he’s been embraced. Gadly, like so many others who pick Hawaii for reasons of climate and recreation and have no interest in local people and culture, chose instead to hold himself apart, and so he has not been embraced. It seems the current economic conditions are attracting more people like Gadfly to the Islands than Colt.
Today, I found a comment from Gadfly in my inbox that asserted: “As much as we intellectualize about broader horizons, we all live in a small world of our own making. I absoutely [sic] love mine. I'm sure you love yours too.”
He’s right. We do each live in a world of our making, defined by our own perception of reality. Some of our worlds are large, with open doors and low walls, and people, ideas and feelings flowing in and out, freely; other worlds are small and closed, like prisons.
We’re all free to choose the world we live in, and no one can make anyone else choose something different. Still, I can’t help but believe that as compassionate animals at heart, we’re all going to benefit from a little more connection, and not only with our fellow Homo sapiens.
That’s why I share my observations of nature here, along with the politics, and I’m grateful that Gadfly and the rest of you read this blog and sometimes add your comments, too. Because it really is all about connection — which Gadfly obviously wants, too, or else he wouldn't write in — even if it’s not always easy or comfortable or agreeable or smooth.
Finally, since we’re out in woo-woo land here already, I want to advise everyone that Jupiter will be connecting with Pluto on Tuesday, putting a lot of energy and force behind the next Jupiter cycle. It's a powerful opportunity to change your world, if you desire, by getting conscious about what you want in your life for the next 13 years.
Here's to peace, connections and positive vibrations.