I had the pleasure of getting away to the quaint town of Pahala, located on the southeastern coast of the Big Island. A town rich in history and a community deeply routed in the Aloha spirit, Pahala was a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and mentally reset myself. There are no hotels in Pahala and there are a few Bed and Breakfast establishments. I stayed at the Pahala Plantations, specifically the Pahala Plantation Cottage, which was once the Pahala Sugar Company's boss' residence. It was a place rich in character and mystique, and a place that tells many stories of old Hawaii if you simply take the time to slow down and admire the decor.

Last week, my friend, Ray, gave a speech on people's strengths and how society seems to have an awkward gravitation towards being "well rounded". He mentioned that as a student, when he received an A in math and a D in English, he was lightly rewarded for the A and heavily punished for the D. He would have to spend hours upon hours thereafter, working on all thing English - from grammar to spelling to comprehension. When he finally raised his grade from a D to a C, it was as if Hawaii reached Statehood! Confetti would fall from the heavens and the pop of champagne bottles would resound the room as the abundance of champagne geysers would shoot across the room. In his later years, he would be confused of this. He was rewarded for reaching mediocrity yet, his strength in math was not cultivated. He wasn't encouraged to be the Michael Jordan of math. Why was he shaped, molded, cultivated, developed, and encouraged to be mediocre? He feels that had he pursued his mathematical or parallel strengths, he could have been a lot more successful. Ok, backup. Successful. What he means by successful is that he could have been happier overall; he could use the same effort and create a greater output; and as a person, he would be contributing a greater amount to society.

In a recent conversation with a nationally respected doctor, he mentioned that a very small percentage of the population generates a very large percentage of economic results.

Well 2 + 2. If we were to all excel using our strengths and become supermen and superwomen of our talents and skills, our population as a whole would be amazing!

Maybe you perform the Oscar Meyer Weiner song and dance like no other 40 year old in Kaimuki. Maybe you can twirl ceramic plates on broomsticks like nobody's business. Maybe you can down more hard boiled eggs in a minute than a chicken can hatch in a year. I think we are given these strengths not to simply recognize them and check them off our lists as we begin to focus, full bore on our weaknesses. We are given these strengths to cultivate them and to contribute to society.

In the old days, a blacksmith went to a farmer for his or her vegetables. A fisherman went to a carpenter for home repair. And this seemed to produce the most effective results. It created an efficient society. So why is the chemist of today trying to hem his or her own jeans? Why is a sushi chef trying to change his or her own oil? I think each and everyone of us needs to focus more on our strengths. Don't neglect our weaknesses but dang, if you really got something going and you enjoy it, cultivate it....

Mmmm.... Delicious!

It's the Valentine's Day Stupids; I mean Cupids! North Shore residents definitely saw some love (and maybe a little more than they had bargained for). At least these guys were having fun, made majority of the passersby laugh, and sold some roses!

I've always had a fascination with signs near surf spots. They always seem to be "modified".

...but you already knew that. Right?

Ahhh..... the little slice of earth I can visit, in order to escape the stupid things. Although in the recent, most of the stupid things are in the media and have not directly involved me, it's great to know that I can escape to the Bat cave, swing a few bottom turns, rearrange perspectives, and remember that there are bigger things.

Can borrow your AAA card? My boat still stuck, brah....

Complications occur when you open Microsoft Word and it appears 500% zoomed out. Complicated is when you have a “dirty” napkin and you spend the next 45 seconds trying to figure out how to hold the device and wipe your mouth without transferring the 2 day old Curry to your face. Complications occur when your friend and you peer over the fence at the beautiful ocean and while she sees a beautiful tinge of sea blue not included in Crayola’s finest offerings and a majestic orange sunset, you see a battle of testosterone to catch the wave, a treacherous drop, a swift dig on your back heel to peel your surfboard towards the right, a brief prayer to get around a washed out section, a bout of composure to utilize the rest of the wave, 4 nice sweeping cut backs, and tricky maneuver to escape the reef. Complicated is the last sentence. Complications occur when your leisure drive to work is halted by a 3 car accident, with you involved; as the cause; and you have no insurance; and you directly hit your coworker; and she has no insurance either; and you’re late for an important meeting; and you abhor the members of the meeting, and the meeting topic sucks but, you need the money and Obama’s still working on the stimulus package. You rereading the last sentence and mentally correcting my use of commas and semicolons is complicated, but funny. Complicated is someone who interprets your finest humor as deeply offensive. Amusing is when you don’t give a shit. Complications occur when you use an L&L straw to sip a Jack In The Box Oreo cookie shake. Complicated is when you sit here for 10 minutes thinking about complications. Complications occur when you arrive at so many destinations perplexed when all you needed were the journeys. Complicated is when you spend the next 30 seconds pondering about the grammar in the previous sentence and you had enough drinks that disable you from tying your shoelaces. Complications occur up to the point when you realize your slip on shoes have no shoelaces. Complicated is when y8iouas. Typing is complex. I used another word besides complicated and complications – did you notice? Complications occur when all you wanted was a diet coke and you got a Venti Mocha Machiato expresso latte chai with distilled soy milk, no need to make room for cream or sugar. Complicated is when the Starbucks gift card doesn’t work at select locations and Starbucks Express locations. Complications occur when 9 out of 8 places you frequent are select Starbucks locations or Starbucks Express locations. Complicated is when people who are selected to hold office don’t pay taxes. Complications occur when something as simple as peanut butter can kill. Complicated is when you take a perfectly configured Rubics Cube, turn it 5 times, spend the next 3 years trying to complete 2 of the faces, and end up prying the blocks apart and snapping them back together. Stay tuned for more complications...

Ok, I'm lying. 6'0 Black Pearl by Kyle Bernhardt. Nickname - "chubs" (because I can barely duck dive it).

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