Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pro Pono

I was quite interested in a story that appeared in the Honolulu Weekly, a free publication that is distributed at the local grocery store. The cover reads, Ho'oponopono A Hawaiian sense of peace, and features a photograph of the last ruling monarch in the Hawaiian islands, Queen Lili'uokalani. Also pictured is Gandhi and Martin Luther King. The Queen fits perfectly among the two very public figures of peace resistance. The picture and the title of the cover story piqued my interest.

The cover picture alluded to the fact that the Queen should rank as one of the great leaders of peaceful resistance. However, the story details the life and thoughts of Reverend Kaleo Patterson, a current Hawaiian activist. The beginning of the editorial runs through a list of credentials for Reverend Patterson, from his education to his protest activity.

The article skims the surface of "ho'oponopono" and barely touches the non-violence resistance of the past. I would have enjoyed reading more on the similarities between Gandhi, Lili'uokalani and MLK, Jr. That topic is the name of a class that Reverend Kaleo Patterson offers at the Center for Indigenous Leadership and Peace Making, housed at the US School of Social Work. I suppose if I'd like to know more on the topic, I have to take the class. **giggles**

Many cultures in the world practice "ho'oponopono" in their own way. I interpret it to be a form of repentance and restitution for the sinner/criminal and the victim. If practiced correctly, it allows the sinner to make restitution for his indiscretions until the victims family can fully forgive and accept the wrong and put it to rest.

The act of restitution and forgiveness is all but absent from our contemporary jail systems. The criminal is never allowed to attempt to clear his name and make restitution to the people he has wronged. He is never called to admit his guilt or to ask for forgiveness. Rather, he "does his time" and is released, only to repeat the behavior that placed him in jail in the first place.

Ho'oponopono would work for both the offender and the offended. The offender seeking for forgiveness is an act of humility that places the offender in a state of submission to the offended. The psychological act of forgiveness by the offended to the offender brings a peace of mind that is so absent in contemporary society. Both pieces are necessary for a successful reconciliation.

The story sparked several thoughts for me and I'm grateful I stumbled upon it. As I attempt to adopt ideals into my life, forgiveness ranks at the top of my most admirable qualities.

1 comment:

Nina MM said...

Yours and mine. Thank you for this timely read.