Time To Dig Deeper

Kings Shops Mural

I was walking and speaking with a hawaiian woman and commented that I thought she should walk in front because the people coming here on vacation come here to see the wahine, the beautiful Hawaiian women. She was so offended. She told me I shouldn’t say that because it’s not pono, that which is right, righteous, and pure. She said people come here for the spirit which is Hawaii. I didn’t want to burst her bubble and share with her how superficial the world really is… but then, is it really superficial?  Perception is reality to each person. Since I choose to learn the Hawaiian culture, recognizing mine is only one perspective, I realize I must look within my own heart, because if I hold onto the perception that the world is filled with superficial people, then I will miss a very deep part of this Hawaiian culture, and possibly other cultures throughout the world? It looks like it is time to dig deeper.

My gaffs and faux pas are many in these early days of learning the Hawaiian culture. I ask many questions. Still, it seams with every question comes another gaff or cultural insult. On the surface there is the acceptance of haole ignorance, because the haoles don’t know any better. As I speak up and try to learn, the intolerance for such ignorance seams worse. I understand this. I see it. There is a pushing away. A distancing. The sense that “we want to share with you as long as we don’t let you in.” There are huge trust issues among these people and this culture. I understand why. I saw similar interactions when we lived in the southwest U.S. near the Native Americans. The concept of, “I will not let you in so you can’t hurt me” or “Don’t tell me your intentions, show me your intentions.” As the saying goes in the mainland (U.S.) culture in which I was raised, “Actions speak louder than words.”  Civilizations’ cultures throughout the world have been destroyed throughout history. These people don’t want to loose their culture. They are a good, heartfelt people with a depth and warmth I have not known in the past. I shall put aside the ignorance of my past and my childhood reactions to her taking offense. I shall humble myself and quiet my voice, because actions do speak louder than words. It is truly, time to dig deeper into who I am.


James Christopher



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