This has to be a most magical day: Aloha Friday and Valentine’s. Two powerful forces of love, kindness and compassion intersecting solely to bring you happiness and joy. Will you be my Valentine?
Face it. Life is Amazing; Life is Awful. One day we’re floating on Cloud 9. The next moment we find ourselves crushed under dark storm clouds. Death, destruction, addiction, anorexia, loss … endless challenges. We’ve all been there — right?
Additionally, between amazing and awful is the ordinary, mundane and the routine. All-in-all life is breathtakingly beautiful. It is also brutally painful. Love and Loss — life is balance.
So spread love and aloha — everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. Was able to assist a couple Japanese visitors today. We were waiting (long time) at a bus stop. No buses were coming. Strange delay. The young women were confused and visibly frustrated.
Motioned to one to come over. This scared her a bit. Some strange guy was calling her. She grabbed her friend. Together they walked my way. “Confused?” I asked. “Hai!” they answered together. With a bit of broken Japanese and English, I was able to learn they wanted to make their way to North Shore.
In just a few minutes, I showed them how to more effectively track buses. These two tiny females looked up at me standing 6’5″ with total delight in their eyes. They thanked me graciously, “Arigatōgozaimashita!”
My bus arrived and I left them beaming. They waved joyously to me as we pulled away. Just strangers, but we became friends due to one act of simple kindness. They are two of my Valentines today and I don’t even know their names.
So, thank you, Nataly for your kind words. It’s a challenging time for men. Sometimes when we offer a hand of assistance, we get slapped down for being “gentlemanly.” Some women consider such acts to be condescending or intrusive. The kind Japanese ladies were clear, “Thank you! We love and need you!” Nice to meet rational women.
One never knows how a stranger will react. The key is to Keep a Good Heart. This is the most important lesson in life. It’s not money, possessions or deeds. No! The art of life is to keep a good heart. Joni Mitchell reminded us of this lesson long ago.
One of my favorite role models is Consuelo Zobel de Ayala y Montojo Terrentegui Zambrano Alger. Consuelo inspired her foundation from her earliest days by the words of St. Therese of the Little Flower or of the Child Jesus, who said, “What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.”
Consuelo explained her philosophy quoting from the Gospel of St. Matthew:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked and you clothed me; sick and you visited me; in prison and you came to me. Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”
Life is Amazing; Life is Awful. Not always will life be pleasant. We can only show awesome love when we learn to dance in the rain.
And while it’s hard, we must remember to keep smiling. Laughter, joy, happiness … these are ways of dancing in the rain. It sure does rain a lot, doesn’t it?
One of the best ways to keep smiling, weather dark storms and share great compassion in this frequently frustrating world is to do what you truly enjoy. We inspire when we’re happy. We awaken the hearts in others.
Most importantly, God is love. One cannot treat others negatively or like garbage and worship God at the same time. The hypocrite will never find happiness. She may be a leading CEO of a prestigious corporation — seemingly accomplished with a lifetime resume of deeds. Smashing those around her will always leave her empty.
Maybe he is an recognized community leader. Pointing fingers at others shows not their inadequacies, but the deficit in the self-righteous one.
“What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.”
The secret to life is living minimalist: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure. This is how St. Therese of the Little Flower inspired Consuelo.
And, on this double-powered day of love, where Aloha Friday merges with the hearts of Valentine, remember to love without measure. Unleash your life’s inspiration and awaken the hearts of others.
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”