Black Friday and Peace On Earth

Peace on Earth, can it be
Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can

Remember those lyrics? Peace On Earth.

The Christmas carol duet performed by Andy Williams and David Bowie rang out over the airwaves as I listened to the radio in my car on Black Friday.

Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care

I wondered, who is teaching the children to care about others?
It left the teaching curriculum a long time ago in California.

Hardly anyone I know still goes to church or brings their children to church.

The state? Daycare? Babysitters?

Then I came home and turned on the TV news. Pepper spraying fellow humans to greedily take an Xbox, people trampling, grabbing, pushing and even shooting in order to get what they want.

I mused over the degradation of our society and over the loss of people giving of themselves to help others. My grandparents taught me to leave things behind so others may also have them.

I was reminded of a time in Tahoe when I went to Safeway at night right before a blizzard was due to come in. There were two bottles of windshield wiper fluid left- the kind that doesn’t freeze and is vital to driving in snow and slush. I could have used two bottles, but my grandpa’s voice came to me. “Take two and you’ve taken from someone who might desperately need that bottle. You only need one.”

I left the other bottle there for someone else. I mentioned to a friend that night there were only two bottles of fluid left and that I had left the other one there in case someone really needed it. He seemed pleasantly shocked that I had considered another person and that two bottles was more than I needed at that moment.

Thinking of others isn’t the norm anymore. I really wonder what happened to our society.

What has this world come to? How do we find our humanity again? Where are the grandparents?

Let’s Help the Small Business During APEC

Shoppers are staying away from Ala Moana Shopping Center. Restaurants near the APEC Conference are closing their doors for the rest of the week. Small businesses have laid off employees for 4-7 days.Shopkeepers at Ala Moana Shopping Center are telling their employees to take a break and buy a cup of coffee to support other retailers.

APEC is hurting commerce in the Honolulu area surrounding the conference locations.

So, Mark and I decided to have dinner tonight somewhere in town, near the conference, but not in the secured zone. We want to help the local businesses. Anyone have ideas of where we should eat?

Let us know if you want to join us.

Update: The Chart House restaurant in Honolulu had an “APEC Stimulus Package” last night. We ate there when we saw the special – 40% off food! When have you ever heard of 40% off a dinner? I don’t think I ever have. My mahimahi fish dinner was $18. They took $36 off our final bill. That’s a deal!

APEC Traffic Fears

APEC’s in town. (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)

Streets are closed for security reasons. High-level delegates from 21 countries are here. Traffic warnings are posted everywhere. Beaches are shut down. Residents of Waikiki enter their own residences only with proper I.D.

Mark and I went to dinner in Waikiki on Saturday night, figuring it would be our last chance to visit for at least a week. We were shocked to find how empty the streets, hotels and restaurants were. Even Waikiki Beach was empty. Did everyone stay away, fearing massive traffic and hassle from APEC? The opening ceremony for APEC was on Sunday, yet Saturday was empty in Waikiki.

Maybe this is how we end traffic in Honolulu after all-just create traffic fears so bad that no one wants to enter the city.

I am heeding advice to stay away. Today I am home, hunkered down in our apartment. The streets may be empty, but I wouldn’t know. I’m writing. And reading other people’s writing. And that’s a good thing.