The Cycle of Goodness

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When you perform a good deed for someone, whether it be family, friend or stranger, their look of expression exhibits gratitude.  Their appreciation for your generosity and kindness in giving of yourself and your time is reciprocated with a smile, a kiss, a hug, a handshake or words of thanks and praise.

And it’s a good feeling; it gives us a sense of self-satisfaction and prideful joy.  Because it feels good, almost intoxicating, we tend to do more good deeds.  As for the recipient of your actions, their positive experience compels them to try and do the same for others.  Spreading the wealth of selflessness…that’s the cycle of goodness.

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It’s the power to connect with people and let them know that there is good in the world and in everyone’s heart.  Seeing all those happy people and their smiles, truly makes one proud.  You can never forget the look on a person’s face when they express sincere gratitude and acknowledgement.

When we share an experience, a positive one at that, we form bonds.  Perpetuating the cycle of goodness, that’s the bond…the synergy of doing something exceptional for someone in a selfless manner.

We can all incorporate this into our daily lives.  A simple act can go a long way for someone in need.  We must never forget the power of the human heart…goodness is the key that can link the hearts of many.

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Living the “Aloha Spirit”

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Hawaii is unique in the sense that we really have a multi-cultural atmosphere; yes, every state and country has a melting pot culture as well but they’re not an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with nowhere to go.

We are so isolated that the essence of good and stable relationships is important for collective existence.  We think of ourselves as one big community where we just find a way to live and work together.  We “talk story”, share customs and meals and influence each other.  We take what’s best from each other’s cultures and fuse them together to create this place.

The way we interact and treat one another is how the “Aloha Spirit” is spread.  It’s like an expression of kindness, hospitality, spirituality, cooperativeness, humility, unity and graciousness all rolled into one that we share with others, whether it be family, friends, acquaintances or strangers.

Whether you grew up here or a transplant from somewhere far, this attitude becomes engrained in your psyche.  It’s a part of our life; we treat everyone like family.  If you come here for a visit, just stop and look around.  You can’t miss it because it’s seen everywhere, every day.

 

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It’s the person that lets you cut into their lane during gridlocked rush hour, the next door neighbor that gives you fruits from their backyard, the people that come out in droves for a bone marrow drive for a family’s child, the person pulling over to help a stranger with a stranded vehicle on the freeway, the lady that welcomes a stranger with open arms at a party and treats them like a long-time friend, the guy that informs a tourist where the choice spots to go surfing or fishing and what to avoid, the feeling of trying to go above and beyond to help someone in need while being courteous in the process.

I could go on and on and give tons of examples but you get the picture; being hospitable is in every corner of the world.  I just wanted to give a brief light into what the “Aloha Spirit” was about.  Being tasked with explaining it through a blog was quite difficult for me because it’s just a way of life here.

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The “Aloha Spirit” is just spreading goodwill to everyone we meet; sharing a smile, helping out, being friendly, showing that we really care about you.  So if you get a chance, it doesn’t matter where you were born or where you’re currently living…maybe you could help spread the “Aloha Spirit” and increase the positivity in the world.

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Midlife Reflections #3

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The past couple of days, I’ve pondered on my life’s journey and what it took to get me here today.  It was a smooth ride that had numerous speed bumps and detours along the way.

I’ve had days when I hit the jackpot and everything went my way; even my mistakes and miscues resulted in a favorable outcome.

AND THEN there were those days where anything and everything went horribly wrong; where life put me in a loop and a series of jokes slapped me in the face one after another.

Regardless of what kind of day, week, month or year I had, I somehow survived; I lived to tell the tale and more often than not, I remembered in detail all of the good that I encountered.

Throughout all of my life’s experiences, I’ve come to the realization that sometimes my greatest memory can be my worst enemy.  Relishing and reminiscing about all those happy times brought about a false sense of thinking; that everything would result in something wonderful.

It was good to have a positive outlook but I needed to embrace all the bad that happened in my life wholeheartedly.  With every failed attempt I grew closer to success.

With much introspection, I’ve learned to value everything that crossed my path.  It helped me to be strong, wise, compassionate, focused, determined and grateful.  Life is way too short, so “Find the beauty in every moment” and bring out the best in yourself.

An Eternal Optimist

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In the face of

insurmountable odds

and naysayers doubting

your ability

You have to have

faith,

passion,

know yourself

inside and out

Develop a keen foresight

and inner confidence

Have the drive

to fight and persevere

Knowing it will be enough

to overcome everything

Once you can do that,

a spark of hope

springs from an endless well

that leaves you with a sense of

unbridled enthusiasm

A beacon at the end of the tunnel

that will never dissipate

When you can truly feel this way

accept it as canon,

that’s when you know you’re

an eternal optimist.

Writing Haikus

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Writing is a gift

That’s given to few, so share

Let your voice be heard

 

Creating stories

Inspiring today’s children

To always dream big

 

Writing sets us free

Imagination unchained

Unknown worlds are born

 

Writing shows our heart

Passion reveals our true self

Our love knows no bounds

 

Words are our allies

Strings together emotions

Stirs up memories

A Taste of Hawaii

I have never written anything food related in my life but decided that I wanted to do so now to give people a “taste” of life here in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Rather than talking about some fancy dish, I’ll talk about this particular food that we all know and have tried once in our lives…”POPCORN”.

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Most people when they hear the word popcorn, associate it with the movies.  It’s a staple snack that we all like to munch on while we’re watching our favorite flick.   Some are purists that like to eat it plain, while others sprinkle on that cheese or garlic flavored seasoning; the rest just mix it with their favorite candy snack.

Here in Hawaii, what we like to do is to mix MOCHI CRUNCH (KAKIMOCHI) and FURIKAKE or LI HING seasoning with our popcorn.

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Mochi crunch, or kakimochi (kah-kee-moe-chee) as we commonly call it, is a snack originally created in Japan; it’s a type of bite-sized Japanese cracker made from rice and coated with soy sauce.  In Japan it’s normally called arare (ah-rah-ray) or senbei (sen-bay) and it usually comes in different shapes.  It was introduced to Hawaii in the 1900’s by the Japanese plantation workers and has been a staple snack amongst the locals since then.

Furikake (foo-ree-kah-kay) is seaweed diced into tiny flakes mixed with sesame seeds, salt, sugar and seafood flavoring.  It’s usually sprinkled on top of cooked rice for flavoring.

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Li Hing was brought over to Hawaii by the Chinese plantation workers.  Li Hing is dried, pickled plums seasoned in food coloring, licorice, salt and sugar and has also been a life-long snack here in Hawaii.  It’s truly an acquired taste; the best way to describe it is it’s a combination of salty, sweet, sour, tart and tangy.

The coating on the plums is what most of us like the best about eating this snack, so much so, someone had the bright idea to just sell it in powder form.  We usually sprinkle it on fruits, candy and shaved ice to give it added zest; others even concocted drinks with it.

I don’t know who started the trend or when it originated but someone in our lovely state decided to mix the two ingredients with popcorn and voila…it deliciously worked!  The soft crunch of the popcorn, the hard crunch of the kakimochi, the scintillating taste of the li hing powder and the earthy flavor of the furikake…mmm…delicious!  We even have ready made packets so that we don’t have to buy the ingredients separately.

For those who have a sweet tooth, this might not be for you because it’s more on the salty side.  When I say salty, I mean more like when you eat a regular potato chip kind of salty.  But this way of eating popcorn is commonplace in Hawaii when we’re at the movies or even chillin’ on the couch at home watching our favorite TV show.

It might not look too appealing but if you’re ever in Hawaii, give it a try.  I always say, “Try first, complain later.”  You might like it, you might not, either way you can at least tell your friends and family members that you got a little taste of Hawaii.

 

 

To Chase The Dream

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We all have various dreams,

some big and some small

Achieving them within our lifetime

is a most daunting task of all

 The failures, the pain,

the constant agony of defeat

Tests our will, our strength and resolve,

it knocks us off our feet

 Constantly trying and failing

is one of the best lesson we’ll get

It develops our drive, determination and passion

improves our successful living skill set

 Learning never stops

we have to grow everyday

Acquiring new and interesting knowledge

helps our dream get underway

 The grind towards the dream continues on,

it’s a path difficult and unclear

We must grit our teeth, head straight-forward

and show that we have no fear

 Our dream will never end

and in our hearts we must be true

To reach our goal, our life-long love

we must persevere and see it through

 So when you’re chasing your dream,

dig deep and give it your all

In the end you’ll fulfill your goal,

you can be proud and stand tall.