Three coconut trees are planted near the coast of the Island of Maui.
One palm tree focuses its energy on impressing tourists by growing the most delicious coconuts on the island. It seeks constant validation from others.
The second tree wants to be respected for being the tallest coconut tree on the island. It grows its stem thick but not flexible to impress or scare others.
The third coconut tree is small and has average coconuts. It focused its energy on building strong roots deep into the ground.
A massive storm approaches from the north. High winds howl into the darkness of the night. The storm ends swiftly the following morning leaving the coastal town in pieces.
The first tree is uprooted, flying into the depths of the ocean. It spent a majority of its life trying to please others and thus had tremendously weak roots.
The second coconut tree wasn’t flexible enough to weather the storm. It spent its whole life trying to earn respect through fear and power. Its insecurities cracked under the immense power of the storm.
The third coconut tree survives the storm. Its roots were well developed and its stem was flexible in the high winds. It wasn’t living to please others or intimidate them through might.
By focusing your energy on your roots you can weather any storm.
By staying flexible, you can bend with the strong winds of life.
There are no idols.
No holy men or women.
Born of love & fear.
Learning & growing.
There are no enlightened beings.
Worship no idols.
Become your own.
Where there is hatred, I will show love.
Where there is fear, I will show trust.
Where there is doubt, I will show faith.
Where there is apathy, I will show compassion.
Where there is violence, I will show peace.
I vow to show others another way.
Fighting for peace.
Shaming for love.
Anger spilling into the streets.
Not an ounce of compassion.
How will they ever know peace if all we show them is violence?
We must show them another way.
The way of peace.
Our life is our message.
The message of peace.
The message of love.
The message of compassion.
Go to the streets.
Go to them in peace.
Anger can’t stomp out anger.
Only love can.
Violence won’t stop violence.
Only peace can.
Apathy won’t end apathy.
Only compassion can.
The pain of loneliness.
Building up like water flowing into a mighty dam.
The wall deteriorates.
Until one day the walls scream in pain.
The dam is broken.
Suffering overflows into the world.
The river mourns.
The birds cry.
Innocent beings swept away by the waves of suffering.
I have no answers.
How can we prevent suffering from spilling over?
How can we live in peace?
How can we heal our nation?