LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH*
(Let It Begin With Me)
In 2016, I had the pleasure of connecting with family members who I met for the first time in my life. I attended funerals of relatives and family reunions where I learned more about my ancestors who immigrated from China around the 1850's as laborers for the Hawaii sugar plantations or by arranged marriages.
3 of my mother's sisters passed away this year. 4 out of 16 siblings remain of the Ho family from Kurtis Town, Hawaii Island. On my father's side, 4 out of 9 siblings remain of the Chun-Ching bloodline from Kaneohe, Oahu. Together, the Chun-Ching-Ho-Yamasaki family connection have multiple generations of Pake-mixed relatives living the "American Dream." I am grateful that my parents, who are 88 and 85 years young, are still alive and lovingly well.
In honor of our elders who passed, they are fondly remembered for their unique gifts of love. I thank them for their hard work and sending money home to clothe, feed, and educate the family. I thank them for instilling their entrepreneurial spirit, integrity, humility and perseverance in us, which allow each generation to progress from working as laborers and maids, to professionals and business owners.
I appreciate the delicious home-cooked specialities such as my mom's tako and almond cookies, Aunty Jo's sweet sour pork, Uncle Tim's smoked chicken, Aunty Vi's mochi pounded by hand, Sharon's crab cakes, Popo's gau and oyster rolls, Aunty Eleanor's Chinese pretzels, Aunty Flo's crispy cookies, Uncle Bill's chow mein and lau lau, Aunty June's nishme, and too-many-to-list delights by cuzzie Annie. She has an array of specialities and published many cookbooks to raise funds for the Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry and other community causes.
I listen intently to interesting eulogies and family stories. We play games, share hugs, and laugh out loud (sometimes dance Hanalei Moon with Roy's singing) at our belly-filling potluck gatherings. Our holidays and life celebrations are filled with people connecting from the heart. And there's always abundance so that no one leaves empty-handed or alone. Priceless.
These moments are opportunities to reflect and be grateful for the past, live in the present, and set my intentions for the future.
For me, it is simply to Love and be Loved.
To smile with sincerity and live fully in the moment.
To provide a solid education and character-building foundation for my sons.
To encourage my sons and the next generation to have hope, be free, and soar with the wind.
To actively participate in ongoing education and economic development for our community.
To help you feel and be your authentic self with confidence, competence, and connections.
When I was around 11 years old, I learned to play the following song on the piano. It still plays in my head and resonates in my heart. I adjusted few words (to honor our Diversity) and hope the lyrics inspire you to pause and reflect how each and every one of us can make a positive difference in life now and for the lives of generations to come.
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me;
Let there be peace on earth,
The peace that is meant to be.
With the Universe as our guiding light
People all are we
Let me walk with all people
In love and harmony.
Let peace begin with me,
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take,
Let this be my solemn vow:
To take each moment and live
Each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Peace and Love be with you now and forever.
* My adaptation of the original song by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson
Source: The Best of Brimhall for Easy Piano/Book 3