My family gathered in Oahu last month to celebrate my nephew Tyler’s graduation from the University of Hawaii Manoa.
The graduation party was held on the breath-taking Ewa Beach; white sands, turquoise water and a magnificent view of Diamond Head. We ate, drank, listened to cool reggae music and showered Tyler with hugs and kisses.
As I looked upon our very, un-nuclear family, I was overcome by the love we have for one another (and wishing my husband and son were with us). Many of us are unrelated but we still have unconditional acceptance and longing for each other’s happiness.
Our trip had bumps too. Those in my generation might remember The Brady Bunch Hawaiian vacation episode with the unlucky tiki idol?? We had missed flights, navigation mishaps, tummy troubles and even tears. But I only hold onto the beauty of aloha and the treasured moments we shared.
Returning home, I thought more about my ohana and the extent of whom I am connected. My friends I have known for years and some who have been in my life for only a few, are my ohana through-and-through; equal in my heart to those I share a name with.
Then I thought about the moments with strangers. Not the deep, soulful interactions I have with friends but brief encounters where the universe brings another human into my life. You know, the walk-on extras in our not-made-for-TV life. I think the world becomes less scary when we can laugh with a stranger. It reminds me that we are all connected.
So if we are all connected, why do hateful strangers sometimes direct their ugliness at us? Try as I might to stay positive, I feel a little deflated and sad for humanity. I want to believe that all my fellow(wo)men are gentle spirits but that’s the Pollyanna in me. I know the world isn’t as lovely a place as I want it to be but why can’t I have a Protective Bubble of Happiness™ around myself and those I hold dear?
Somedays it is easier than others to wipe off the shit the universe hurls my way. Each day I will try to hold onto the aloha and wrap my ohana and myself in joyous love.
What this world needs is a new kind of army – the army of kind. – Cleveland Amory