Marti's Theory

Archive for January 2014

I am from the mainland, a second generation American from Eastern European ancestry.  That is my background, my history.  My grandparents gave up everything they had and everyone they knew just for the privilege of living in America.  They never regretted it, never looked back.

I grew up in the same house for the first 18 years of my life before wanderlust grabbed me.  I moved from a steel town in Ohio to Miami, Florida, back to another part of of Ohio, to Denver, Colorado, Napa, California, Los Angeles and finally – nearly 28 years ago – to Hawaii.  First to the Big Island, then to Maui.

Yes, like so many others, I came to Hawaii from somewhere else.  I love the culture dearly but I am not Hawaiian. And I don’t try to “be” Hawaiian. I’m mostly grateful and happy that I live here.

Nevertheless, every January 17th, no matter how happy I am, I am overcome by a sadness. On this day, 121 years ago, the government of my country, the land that my grandparents gave up everything for, overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy.  Why?  Because the Queen’s desire for a new constitution which would bring a balance of power (BALANCE, not absolute) back to the Hawaiians might be a little troublesome to the American businessmen’s long term plans of trade and commerce.  Seriously.  That’s why.  The Hawaiian Islands was a monarchical kingdom that the US, represented by a small handful of men, then “conquered” for our convenience and profitability.

Sound familiar?  On my more radical days, it feels like it’s happening right here again with the whole 1% vs. 99% thing.  Or maybe not.  I don’t really know.

But back to the point.  When I first came to Hawaii, this revelation about the overthrow confused and upset me, made me sort of uncomfortable, even embarrassed.  I’m not sure why; my people were getting stomped on in Europe while this all happened.  But it did.

Now it just makes me sad.

Image

After choosing to step down in order to save the lives of her people, this is the attitude of Hawaii’s exiled monach. If you want to learn about compassion, selflessness and class, read about Queen Lili’uokalani.

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  • martiwrites: On one hand, I actually facilitated those training classes for years. On the other hand, I'm a Serb living in the land of aloha. Double whammy and h
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