Thursday, January 4, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 4, 2001

Island Voices
A new era to be at peace with yourself

By Poka Laenui
Executive director of Hale Na'au Pono, the Wai'anae Coast Community Mental Health Center

The old millennium closed on us on Dec. 31, 2000. How do we measure the passage of an era?

A millennium, a thousand years, covers a lot of ticking of clocks, cycles of life and death, and revolutions of the Earth and the sun. How do we measure the passage of an era to the human society?

Has it been the changed technology from the pen and paper to the printing press to the current production and distribution of information through the medium of digitized impulses? Or has it been the widespread colonization and decolonization of territories throughout the world? Or could it be the change in the perception of human rights, from it being nonexistent to the elevation of women to actually vote and be equals with men?

In comparison with prior millenniums, how has this one fared? From 1001 to 2000 A.D., we have witnessed tremendous development and expansion of nation-states. We have seen great strides in science and technology. We have been affected by the ability to communicate around the world, truly making it a "small world."

But where are the moral leaders of the last 1,000 years? Unfortunately, humanities’ moral development has failed to keep up with science and technology. We have seen the likes of Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr. and a few others in the last century. But their teachings have not carried the longlasting inspiration to elevate the human moral condition.

Will we see again a period of time in the world such as the first thousand years A.D.? Can we afford to wait? Or must we simply take a more carefully responsible approach to each moment of our own lives, learning to enjoy the simple and priceless treasurers of the spontaneous child’s laughter, the precious moments of two lovers sharing time together, watching a tree reach to a healthy sky, or the miracle of a child being born?

We are truly in a sea of major changes in our age. Yet there are still things that remain constant and can serve as strong guiding stars for each one of us. Cherish and cultivate your positive relationships. Honor the god-spirit in all things. Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.

And remember that hatred never ceases by hatred. Hatred only ceases by love. Be kind, yet truthful to yourself and gentle with the world.

Happy new millennium.

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