Aloha, Don Blanding
- Mahalo to Cadia for taking all the time to post Dons writings from the
I read through them all and many thoughts hit home to me and I am sharing them
below. If only we would all take them to heart in our lives.
April 10, 1954
Let us think deeply of the significance of Lei Day. The original motive was to
renew yearly the idea of friendliness, of thoughtfulness, or remembrance and
the exchange of living and loving gifts.
We must be on guard or these things, too, shall pass away. And it will be our
greatest loss when "Aloha" is merely a perfunctory word used as Tourist Bait
for those who come seeking what they have lost elsewhere . . . true
friendliness, true welcome, true kindliness of heart.
April 17, 1954
I have a 46-Year Plan which I am working on. I want to celebrate New Year's
Day, January First, 2000. I'll
be only 105. Methuselah did better than that. Why can't I?
One of the most important "Don'ts" is one that is sending so many middle-aged
businessmen (and younger
ones, too) to mortuary slabs while their widows fill the plush apartment
houses and luxury hotels of the
Mainland and Hawaii. That "Don't" is this: DON'T let that indidious
high-pressured go-get-'em attitude
drive me into neglecting that necessary ingredient vitamin of RELAXATION.
It pays dividends to "loll like an oyster" for an hour of each day. So my
Business friend, Bill, Bob and
Jack, won't you do it? For the sake of your friends? Our bill for floral
pieces is biting too much out of the
April 24, 1954
THE THOUGHT suddenly occurred to me, "WE ARE ALL LEI-MAKERS . . . and we wear
the leis we
weave, graciously or dourly according to the blossoms we put into them."
Like the many-strand pikake or ilima leis, the hours are 24 threads on which
we string the flowers of the
minutes and the petals of the seconds. They are our emotions, our thoughts,
our every action and every
attitude. Each goes onto the lei-thread of the hour, and WE wear the lei that
we have woven.
I began back-tracking through the hours of the day which were already formed.
Ouch! There were some pretty smelly flowers on those threads . . . and I don't
mean gardenia. There were too many skunk-cabbages and miale pilaus, symbols of
moments of thoughtless irritations, resentments and idle chatterings which,
now that I recognized them, I would gladly withdraw from the Lei of Hours.
But there they were.
I'd just have to make the remainder of the hours carry a richer treasure of
the sunny flowers of gladness, of kindness and Aloha.
THIS WAS NOT just a transient thought, either. It stayed with me. I want to
keep it as a Talisman, making me alert to the sort of flowers that I'm
stringing hourly, minute-ly and secondly, because I MUST WEAR THIS LEI, just
as you must wear the lei of hours which you are weaving.
IF I HAVE a daily prayer (and I have plenty of them . . . and I need them), it
is this: "May I so live my day that, when it is closed at midnight, I could
give the lei of my hours to a friend, with the pride of a good craftsman, and
the knowledge that it carries beauty with it."
"The sweetest leis in all our Isles
Are miles and miles and miles of smiles."
May 1, 1954
Wear a Lei on Your Heart Today
LEI DAY could and should be a time when we measure ourselves and ask, "How
much am I, individually, contributing to the healing of our world-sickness of
distrust and hate? Am I trying to 'love my neighbor as myself' or am I just
loving myself and the few who are mine?"
And Lei Day is not merely a date on the calendar to be celebrated and
forgotten; it stands for something which Hawaii has, but which is disappearing
rapidly through our thoughtless neglect of one of its basic treasures . . .
Aloha, friendliness . . . thoughtfulness for others, and in the end, a
thoughtfulness for ourselves, because without love we are empty shells echoing
the dischords and not the melodies of life.
Let's wear leis on our hearts this Lei Day. The flower petals will fade, but
those leis of friendliness can last through the year . . . if we take care of
Happy Lei Day to you!
May 22, 1954
I find that with the passing years
My pace IS just a little slowed.
I may not go so far nor fast . . .
BUT I SEE MORE ALONG THE ROAD.
To go half as fast and to see twice as much. To take an hour of the day and
quit chasing things while I take inventory of the glorious abundance of things
that I (we) have FOR FREE here in Hawaii. I find that almost the only thing I
can doodle up to WANT is just more time (and sense) to enjoy richly, deeply
and fully the abundance which is mine. Yours and mine. Ours. Free. In generous
June 5, 1954
A friend of mine, Edythe Hope Genee, poet and artist and fairly articulate
ordinarily, visited here recently. Edythe was afraid that we had oversold
Hawaii, and she had her fingers crossed as she approached the islands. She
admits now that our most ecstatic descriptions were only pale twelfth carbon
copies of the actual beauty. It just can't be expressed.
It is the individual job and responsibility of every one of us here to combat
anything which destroys this splendid FREE beauty. The sad lesson of Southern
California's smog problem is a constant reminder to us that even this lavish
and apparently limitless beauty can be soiled, obscured or completely
destroyed by negligence on our part.
Even in small ways, we can contribute our valuable bit toward retaining this
beauty by watchfulness in avoiding flinging trash around, cigarette packages,
loose paper sheets, even candy-bar wrappings which give a shabby and neglected
look to our streets and parks.
June 12, 1954
Oh, cracker-box, oh, sardine tin,
Oh, paper-bag to leave around;
Oh, careless lighted cigarette
To toss on dry and tindered ground!
Oh, trampled fern and ravished flower,
Oh, violated wilderness . . .
Oh, human folks . . . oh, you and I,
Why are we such a shabby mess?
A good lock at our beauty spots after a week-end holiday would seem to justify
the return of "KAPU" signs everywhere.
The excuse of most violators is, "AW, what does one li'l ole paper bag
matter?" It isn't ONE paper bag but the multiplied "one's" that make the
beaches and parks lookmlike the aftermath of a two-bit cyclone.
IT'S A MATTER of an individual habit of thoughtfulness.
June 26, 1954
"You're caged in by your fears -- your fears and super bombs, fear of your
relatives' opinions, fear of your Boss, fear of your jobs, fear of higher
taxes, fear of not keeping up with the Jones's, fear of what tomorrow may
You've got emotional goose-flesh most of the time. And the joke is on you, as
we Chimpanzees see it, because you've MADE yourn own bars with your
imaginations. Most of YOUR bars and cages are imaginary. You could see THROUGH
those bars, if you'd stop and really LOOK at them, and then they wouldn't be
there any more."
HE CONTINUED, since I had no reply ready: "We Simians live IN the minute, ON
the minute and BY the minute. If something hurts us NOW, we yell and get it
out of our system now. But you humans doodle up a lot of fears about TOMORROW,
and then suffer until TOMORROW comes . . . and it never does. 'NOW' is the
only time you can live at the time, so why not make it fun. If you've got a
flea, scratch it or catch it, but don't worry about TOMORROW's FLEA." said the
Chimp to Don Blanding
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