Giving thanks from the heart
During my first few years in Hawaii, the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving was just like an ordinary holiday - just another day to free yourself from work. I was exposed to eating roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and cranberries during that day.
More so, I thought it was the day before the greatest shopping day of the year. Dubbed as "Black Friday," I thought (and still think) that it is ridiculous for anybody to wake up as early as 3 a.m. and proceed to the shopping malls. Worse is that some people stay overnight by the door of these shops just to assure them entry the following day.
Yes, Thanksgiving Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in America. Unfortunately, its real significance has been washed out as dictated and sensationalized by advertisers. We have lost the essence of the holiday.
For me, giving thanks is an act of communion between your heart and the Supreme Being who created you. It is an unselfish act of giving away or surrendering yourself to the Creator, thanking Him for all the blessings He has showered upon you.
Just like those early pilgrims of Plymouth in 1621, their Thanksgiving was a day of prayer, not feasting. It was a day of thanking God for a successful and bountiful harvest.
When we say "thank you" to our spouse, friends, children or to even strangers, it is a horizontal manifestation of a vertical connection between your heart and to God.
With that said, when was the last time we uttered those magic words?
Indeed, the Holy Word teaches us to be thankful. This doxology, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow," is a testimony of our gratitude to Jesus Christ. Likewise, Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
This is what real Thanksgiving is all about!
Let us then make every day a day of giving thanks from the heart!
Don't vote for incumbents
If you want something that may unravel the deadlock in our political lives, never vote for an incumbent again as long as you live.
This includes all phases of our voting rights: local, state and federal.
What about "good" candidates that are incumbents? Aren't they entitled to reelection?
There are plenty of good candidates that are waiting for a chance to solve real problems without being concerned about being reelected.
What a chance to break up the two most important items in a politician's mind: get elected and reelected.
They should be concentrating on problem-solving, not problem-making or indecision.
The political arena will never allow us to have full-term limit rights, because they feel that it will curtail their ability to give us their services forever.
The old idea for political office was to serve one term, provide answers to problems and then go back to their lives - not be a professional officeholder, granting yourself lifelong benefits.
It is supposed to be a temporary time in your life, not a lifelong job.
When I look at my ballot name now, incumbents are thrown out of my mind as a candidate that can receive my vote.
Exercise our term limits by this process. It is the only way to bring new blood and get the deadlock broken that exists now in all phases of our lives. If they error, the next one might get it right.
Change is vital for our democratic process to be genuine and work like it should.
BILL BLIETZ, Makawao
Support voting by mail
Did everyone hear about the fiasco that happened on voting day on Oahu?
Nineteen precincts ran out of ballots, and a lot of people had to wait past 8 p.m. to get one and vote. Delivery in that traffic must have been horrendous.
On top of that, did you hear about the people that went to the wrong polling place, because they weren't notified that their precinct had been changed and there was a new map made?
No notification? What's going on over there? The Big Island was good during the primary compared to that!
So, it's back to the drawing board for us. We must switch to "vote by mail" or "absentee ballots" - whatever you prefer. It amounts to the same thing.
Let me remind you: no need to even think about where your precinct is; no need to drive there and stand in line to get your ballot; no need to stand in another line waiting for a booth to open; no need to stand in line AGAIN for your turn at the machine to record your ballot; no need to walk back to your car if you remembered where you parked it. Oh... and now you can drive to wherever it was you wanted to be in the first place.
Mo betta vote by mail, yeah?
GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina
Council members should notice blank votes
For you County Council incumbents that ran unopposed in this year's election, take a look at the percentage of blank votes you received. It should tell you something.
Maybe you should start really listening to the people of Maui and change how you need to represent them for the next two years.
SU CAMPOS, Napili
HC&S, what are you thinking?
I was in traffic next to a Kahului school this morning. Black snow was falling on me and the schoolchildren. Some of them are sons and daughters of HC&S employees.
Statistics say that some of those children have asthma, which is very likely exacerbated by cane smoke.
The idea that we live in a place that considers this normal behavior is insane.
The idea that this company hasn't chosen another path to harvest cane - or chosen other crops that might even be better for us than sugar - over all these years shows a tremendous lack of initiative and desire.
There is so much more that an intelligent, caring company could do with their land, or at least learn a way to improve the harvesting process to eliminate burning.
I don't want to see any jobs lost - just progress made in a world that is different than it used to be.
Of course, it isn't really about the cane at all, is it? It's about a company in business to make money and worshipping that god over the people that live here.
Don't be threatened by the future; embrace it and make a difference growing food or fuel crops.
You would be admired for being progressive and help us solve our food security issues at the same time.
MAURY KING, Kihei