to handle their own turmoil. People we trained included
government workers, members of the police force, abuse
counsellors, social workers and victims. Each diverse group
had the task of defining peace in families and in the community. It was an amazing experience to feel the energy in
the room! Hugs followed between those who had endured
the bombings in Jakarta earlier in the year, hitting their own
downtown and killing their neighbors, children and strangers.
Those at the institute became family. The trainers gave us
the tools to work through our uncertainties and know that
even with our imperfections we could do good for others.
They created in us the power to self-examine, even allowing
us to own our anxieties.
Aloha means sending and receiving a positive energy and
living in harmony. When you live the spirit of aloha, you create positive feelings and thoughts, which are never gone.
They exist in space, multiply and spread over to others.
MBBI’s trainings encapsulate the meaning of aloha I learned
in Jakarta that you don't have to be in Hawaii to share the
spirit of learning, giving and receiving.
BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME
My participation made a real difference for me. I went
back and started new conversations about how to resolve
a territorial and spiritual conflict in my own Hawaiian islands
There is a thirty-meter telescope planned to be constructed
with the collaboration of China, Japan, France, India and
Canada on Native Hawaiians’ spiritual mountain, the Mauna
Kea “Sky Father” — spiritual owner of the mountain. We
need to respect that this mountain is also a spiritual home
for Native Hawaiians and a place for performing rituals and
prayers. Respecting indigenous needs requires inclusive
collaboration to achieve a successful common ground.
EnVision Maunakea.org is looking at inclusive problem
solving. We need patience, hopefulness and persistence to
achieve viable lasting outcomes.
WHAT THE WORK DEMANDS
A good mediator knows how to gain an understanding of
the parties concerns, conflicts, weaknesses and strengths,
including their cultural, religious and affiliative differences. A
good mediator listens to their needs, wants and willingness
to forfeit some of their own preferences to restore peace. A
good mediator needs to be patient but persistent, not giving
up when the going gets tough; sustainable mediations take
time! Mediation listens, and takes context and cultural differences into account.
Peter Adler, an international public policy consultant,
describes the process: ”First I study hard beforehand
and understand what each side desires as a solution, I
understand what it is based on and how their culture and
background influences their problem- solving ability. I start
with easy problems that can demonstrate solutions that
are acceptable and appreciated. All parties tell of what they
want and why they want it and what they are willing to give
up to get it. Once this is discussed there is a common core
of solutions. It shows parties how compromise is a way to
achieve results without disharmony. The next step is to
define the issues for clarity, this builds a better working
relationship between the parties and makes it more likely
that honest communication occurs, improved fact-finding
becomes possible, and the negotiation has a better chance
of yielding long term solutions. “ Mediators Beyond Borders International have now produced a Trauma Informed
Peacebuilding Curriculum and cultural manuals to help
indigenous leaders maintain healthy lifestyles while recovering from atrocities, and create a new generation who love
and embrace peace
WHAT THE WORLD DEMANDS
We need both elders and young people who believe that
“Peacebuilding is teachable,”says Maya Soetoro-Ng, one
of the founders of ceedsofpeace.org. This Hawaiian organization supports and builds bridges between families,
community leaders and educators to share resources and
develop action plans to strengthen our communities and
improve our children’s lives. The seven Ceeds are: Critical
Thinking, Courage, Compassion, Conflict Resolution, Commitment, Collaboration, Community — a model for us to
incorporate in all our organizations, teaching children from
birth to respect and love one another for their differences
and learn that cooperation brings more fun and better
relationships to grow upward and onward. This empowers
us- will commit to being the change they want to see in the
world. We need more faith leaders, anthropologists, psychologists, engineers, lawyers, economists and politicians.
In Hawaii, we have a word, Ohana, which means family - you
can do that with anyone!
To cite one of my earliest and most admired colleagues,
Anthony J. Marsella, Professor Emeritus at University of
Hawaii: “Show, by your actions, that you choose peace over
war, freedom over oppression, voice over silence, service
over self-interest, respect over advantage, courage over
fear, cooperation over competition, action over passivity,