The Hawaiian island of Maui got its name from the legendary Hawaiian demigod. Myth tells that Maui’s mother complained to him that she did not have enough sun to finish planting her crops. So Maui scaled the sacred volcano Haleakala, cast a huge lasso into the sky, and kept the sun from setting until his mother completed her planting.
We are all aware of the tragic fires that recently devastated significant portions of the island of Maui, taking a huge toll of lives, destroying the entire historical town of Lahaina and many other homes, and displacing thousands of people. I lived on Maui for many years (I am now on another island), and I feel deeply for the dear Mauians who sustained horrid losses, and for all the islanders who are now striving valiantly to rebuild and restore quality of life in their community.
I have been touched by the many emails, phone calls, and texts from people expressing their concern for me and for the Hawaiians more directly affected. When I received a supportive email from a business associate in Portugal, I realized that our heart connections supersede physical distance, for her to be so aware of the events on a relatively small island in the Pacific so many thousands of miles away.
My friends on Maui have given me inspiring reports of how people are coming together to help each other. Hotels are allocating rooms for the displaced, and feeding people meals. A computer repairman I know put out a call for used computer donations, and within a day he had received 24 computers. Spiritual leaders are visiting shelters and are giving out donated gift certificates in large amounts for people to purchase food.
Hardship draws forth compassion and kindness that lie latent when times are easier. In the classic movie Starman, an extraterrestrial comes to Earth for a brief visit. As he is about to depart, someone asks him what he learned about the people of Earth. He poignantly answers, “When things are at their worst, you are at your best.” We should not have to wait for a tragedy to motivate us to reach out, but when one occurs, we tap into a gentler, kinder place in our hearts that yields the connection we all yearn for, true nourishment for our soul.
Many people have asked me what organization I would suggest for donations to support relief funds. I can wholeheartedly recommend Aloha in Action: www.alohainaction.com. This group is directed by two very dear friends of mine, native Hawaiians and spiritual teachers who are daily going into the heart of the devastation and delivering money and services to those most in need. While some national relief organizations are taking 2-3 months to answer requests for help, Aloha in Action is on the spot now feeding people while they are hungry, helping them find shelter, and lifting their spirits. Every dollar you give will go directly to people who most need it, and your gift will achieve maximal results.
All prayers will make a difference. Let us see the Mauians who lost love ones comforted, knowing that life is eternal, and those who lost homes, possessions, and jobs, finding direction and empowerment. If you wish to take a moment now to hold Maui and its people in the light, we can lasso the sun and keep it in the sky for a longer time to plant and reap the spiritual seeds we are sowing.