In our materialistic culture on the Mainland we seem to have forgotten how to be grateful! We are surrounded by blessings but we moan that it is not enough. While our cup overflows we complain that we need a bigger cup! We don’t hesitate to cry out to God for help when we are in need but do we ever go back and thank him for his blessings other than on Thanksgiving Day? Or do we assume that what we have received we were supposed to get?
It seems that wherever one turns today they encounter disrespectfulness of government officials toward other government officials, of the young toward the Elders and of drivers on the road who want to get where they want when they want! I was happy to see on my homepage KITV.com that construction work at Kawaiaha‘o Church had been halted because of the impact on iwi (human remains). “The court found that in Hawaiian culture iwi are of immense cultural significance, whether they’re in a Christian cemetery or not.”
We live in such a culture of entitlement that we have forgotten to be grateful to God! We act as if everything is owed to us! And closely aligned with a lack of gratitude is a lack of respect. In the Orthodox Church the remains of an individual are considered to be holy relics and are to be treated with respect and reverence. In this belief, I feel a kinship with the Hawaiian regard for iwi. Now if only we could get to the point where people regarded living people with the same reverent regard!