Is There Life After Retirement?


A couple of months ago I joined Lahaina Rotary.  Now that in itself is worth a post or two, but today I want to write about one specific part of it.

Each Thursday the Rotarians gather for lunch at the Royal Lahaina and at exactly noon, the president rings the big brass bell and the first thing we do is stand, face the flag, put our right hand over our heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Pledge of Allegiance? Yikes!

With the exception of a youth presentation in Hana a few years back, I think the last time I did that was in grade school.  Really.  Grade school.

The first time it sort of threw me, like “uh oh … I wonder if I even believe this stuff.”  I’m not good at having people try to force a value or mindset on me, so I’ve acquired a wariness/cynicism about many such things.  But I was a guest, so I went along, hoping I still remembered the words.  Along with everyone else, I recited:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

and to the Republic for which it stands,

one nation under God, indivisible,

with liberty and justice for all.

As it turns out–

Yes, that’s exactly what I believe.  Truth be told, I got a little choked up.  In spite of the things the US has done that I don’t like (particularly to indigenous people), in spite of those years when we’ve been led by people that I don’t respect, and regardless of all the times I’ve criticized and griped (and will continue to do so, when needed because I think that’s our kuleana as well as our right), I learned that yes, not only do I still feel a strong loyalty to my country and but also (and here’s the part that surprised me) I found that publicly reaffirming this on a weekly basis inspires me in a surprisingly wonderful way.  We are not perfect but that pledge is the world’s most perfect mission statement.  Another thing I noticed is that the words now have a poignancy that I totally missed in my youth.  Kind of like when Kathleen Turner belted out America in when she time traveled backwards in When Peggy Sue Got Married?  But as usual, I digress.

My only issue now is wondering when we, the people, are going to get our collective act together.  But that’s a whole other post…

What about you?  When have you last ‘taken the pledge?’   Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Oh yeah, and one more thing…

These thoughts have been rolling around in my brain for a few weeks, so when this courageous wahine led the Pledge last week, wow.  Just wow.

Gabby Giffords

    • Joyce Burke: This was great too read
    • Debbie: I'm with miracarroll--it's your story, so create however you want. Leave the rest of us wondering which of the (mis)adventures are real, which might b
    • miracarroll: Marti, surely the people in your life are wise enough to know (especially after you say it) that you're a writer and in fiction, everything is fair ga