We humans are truly a strange species! We have all sorts of ways of being our own heaviest burden. There’s the woman who doesn’t like having to do what her neighborhood zoning requires of her so she hoards cats… 300 of them in her small house, never allowing them outside… creating an interior hell with its own miserable demands! At the heart of a lot of our self-imposed misery is our trying to force reality to bend to our desires. Why do we do this? I blame it on a Mainland culture of “ME”, a culture that convinces each of us that I am the most important person in my life, that my desires should be fulfilled no matter what and that I should not have to wait to have those desires met.
Just think of how impatient many of us become when the person ahead of us at the checkout decides to pay by writing a check. We stand there steaming, getting madder by the second that we are going to have to wait for them to write out the check, wait for the cashier to check ID, wait for the cashier to write down their Driver’s License Number on it, wait for that crazy machine to take in the check, spit it back out, take it back in again, and spit it out for the final time! This all takes, what? Five minutes? By the end we’re considering pushing the check-writer to the ground and kicking them to death! How dare they inconvenience US?! We expect everything to be perfect and to suit our every need, and when something only half-addresses our desires then we freak out, acting as if our thwarted desires were comparable to the planets leaving their orbits!
But then in the midst of all of this Mainland insanity in which many of us live there is Hawaiian time: “No rush.” A Mainlander might be tempted to think that this is a lazy man’s way of dealing with realities but they would be mistaken to think so. My take on Hawaiians is that they are not about imposing themselves on reality but about living in harmony with it… whether that reality be the land, the Divine or even shopping store check-writers! Because we Mainlanders are so used to imposing our will on everything some of us also try to fill silence with talk and sound. The fact is, however, that silence is not empty, it is full… full of life which is waiting to be heard! What is called for is that we stop, stand still, and listen… listen for what we are not hearing. As the Hawaiians would say “No rush.”