Saturday, December 14, 2013

Musings: Life Teachings

Funerals, they say, are for the living, and so it was today, at Peter Nakamura's memorial service, when his niece, Casey Nakamura, (Nadine's daughter) delivered a eulogy that really made me think.

Casey, a poised and intelligent 17-year-old, spoke of how Peter encouraged her to read, and had long discussions with her on the wide range of subjects that someone who truly was a renaissance man could converse.

But of all the many things she learned from Peter, she said, three really stood out:

How you say something can be just as important as what you say.

You have to understand all sides of an issue before you form an opinion.

A story may very well be the most effective form of communication we have.

Those life teachings have stayed with me, as well as a quote from Abraham Lincoln that Mike Belles, in his eulogy, said was one of Peter's favorites:

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

In the often jagged, caustic world of politics where many of us are immersed, or occasionally dip, and at a time when the bonds of our small community have been severely strained, those are good words to live by and remember.

Mahalo, Peter, for striving for goodness, and devoting so much of your life energy to public service.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Joan for posting this,
many people forget that there are some fine individuals in government-
Peter was a good, honest and fair man.

Joan Conrow said...

Yes, when I would rail about some self-serving politician or slack govt worker he would say, "We're not all like that, Joan Conrow. Some of us do believe in public service."

Anonymous said...

Peter was the most devoted public service man on Kauai. He had so much integrity and a ready understanding smile. He will be missed and remembered.

Anonymous said...

Peter's passing is a big loss to the county. He was such an honest and dedicated public servant. Wish there were more people like him working in the county.

Anonymous said...

wise words from a kapaa hs student. nice to hear of the way that people move each other through words, deeds and memories. rest in peace peter and enjoy your long due retirement.