Beach Walk 287 – Forgiveness Can’t Be Forced

Today is a wrap up on the peace and reconciliation topic, as I learned that WWII vets are pretty uniformly split among forgive, be neutral, not ready to forgive.

There can be a considerable amount of cultural and religious pressure, direct and inadvertent, to forgive those who have trespassed against you. I’m probably more than your average proponent of forgiveness, but I don’t want to suggest it’s required or it’s better than the alternatives. I don’t think it can be forced or faked for that matter; it’s better left alone until the person is ready to really experience it. And for some things, that can take a really long time.

My mom called in on the conch line too. Mahalo Mom!

I mentioned this article again from our local paper, the Star Bulletin, WWII Adversaries Meet Face-to-Face.

Hawaiian words
Kala: forgive, unburden

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Beach Walk 286 – Make Peace With War

December 7 in the USA is “Pearl Harbor Day,” remembering the initial surprise Japanese attack in Hawaii. Today’s show is a rewind, back by special request.

My mom just loves show #97, Memorial Day in the Pacific. It commemorates those who died in previous wars, and reminds us that the US got into WWII as a result of the bombing here at Pearl Harbor. The shows this week are all exploring this peace, war, and reconciliation theme.

I really liked this article in our local paper, the Star Bulletin, WWII Adversaries Meet Face-to-Face.

A significant share of veterans from both countries say they respect each other as professional military men who fought for their countries. Now in their 80s and 90s, they don’t want to live burdened with hatred and want to die with peace in their hearts.

Secret Cameraman did a beautiful job on this episode. We really hope you enjoy it.

Hawaiian words
Kala: forgive, unburden

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Beach Walk 285 – Opportunity Not Obligation

It’s a peace week, given that is the underlying thread here in Hawaii, and in theory, the basis for the American-European holiday season.

I think you would call my recent affliction “bronchitis.” I am happy to say I am getting better day by day, surrendering to the process. Today’s show I am exploring the opportunity for making peace; it’s not for everyone. I came upon the title for this show during editing, and it’s given me all sorts of ideas for another show!

Peace to me is such a delicate, quiet, personal experience. I don’t want to force it on anyone; that seems counter-productive. But I like exploring opportunities on Beach Walks to think, feel, and act different. To break old patterns that we repeat simply out of habit, not choice.

Hawaiian words
Manawa kūpono: opportunity
ʻAiʻē: obligation, debt

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Beach Walk 284 – Wai Momi

Wai Momi are the pearl waters of Pearl Harbor. This show is about peace and reconciliation among survivors of World War II.

This week in Honolulu is the Pearl Harbor 65th Anniversary Symposium, the last gathering of veterans of the fighting at Pearl Harbor. What grabbed my attention was to learn about Zenji Abe, a Japanese pilot who dropped bombs on Hawaii, yet who has dedicated his life to peace and reconciliation. Hawaii is a good place for this, as even at the time of the war, we had many citizens of Japanese descent. You can read more about Mr. Abe in the Star-Bulletin. You can also read his book, The Emperor’s Sea Eagle.

In looking through the photo archives, I saw a picture of a Japanese sub right off the beach at Bellows Air Force Base. That’s just around the corner from Lanikai, where today’s episode was filmed. It gave me pause.

Also Discussed:
The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Hawaiian words
Wai: water
Momi: pearl

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Beach Walk 163 – Imagination Takes Muscle

A call from Steve inspired more talk on what it means to set aside historical grudges.

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About Today’s Show

It was raining on the beach after my paddle so we filmed in the trees next to the beach. Steve Gandy called the conch line from Texas and shared his comments about the movie Crash, reminding of the John Lennon song, “Imagine” and wondering how much longer people in the Middle East can carry on their centuries of hatred. I read yesterday that General Peter Pace said, until they love their children more than they hate their neighbor. I thought this was rather direct, profound commentary. In getting to know several people in the military living here in Hawaii, I have learned that their basic goal is to solve problems. This requires a rather detached ability to observe a situation, and assess it into component parts. At its core, this message to me is right on. No matter how compelling the feeling of hatred is, love can trigger a change in course.

It is so easy to make sweeping statements, to think we know so well what others should do. But rather difficult ourselves to apply the same beliefs in our petty disagreements with others; to have past grievances show up repeatedly in our relationships when something “goes wrong.” Like me you’ve probably heard (or said) those sayings like “you always act this way when!” or “no matter what I do you always…” Some days it feels that way, but each of us can choose not to let the past continuously pile on and influence the present negatively.

So maybe for this weekend, we can choose to rush toward dropping grudges. To simply choose, one at a time, to not let them have emotional power over us. To put out the flames on our personal battlegrounds and chose not to let this stuff take on monumental proportions. To speak up sooner for what we want rather than building a grudge for later. Being able to truly “drop it” is one of my most treasured skills, and one that requires frequent tune-ups.

Hawaiian words
Kuhi: imagine
Keiki: children

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