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Thought for the Day: Democracy

“The truth is that the fate of America hangs in the balance in every presidential election.  That is the genius of the Constitution.  In creating a nation that transfers power every four years, the Framers charged its citizens with the duty of continually redeeming the gift of democracy or risk losing it.  Democracy is not for the faint-hearted. . .

Let’s prove that our generation is worthy of the gift of democracy” (in a email from R.H.)

Happy July 4th, U.S. Independence Day.

Get informed, verify your sources, support excellent candidates, & Vote.

Banner photo by Roven Images on Unsplash – photo from another year.

Fireworks are illegal here on Maui this year – to discourage crowds.  Instead, we are staying home.  Barry is making chili; I’m making potato salad; we have a big watermelon in the fridge getting cold; John is likely to come to dinner.  And Mary, our wonderful neighbor, has invited a few of us this evening to watch Hamilton; we will be safely distant from each other. Barry and I get to Zoom new Servas friends this afternoon.  We are healthy and safe — but we know many are suffering now.  Who we support in November, both locally and nationally, can make a big difference in how we as a country move forward (or not).


I love this image of how our entrenched systems could be.

May you be grateful wherever you are – and may we each work for positive changes. Stay healthy; stay home.

Aloha, Renée

Thought for the Day: Practice . . .

“Life is practice,  I tell my girts this every day.  You are practicing who you are going to be.  Do you want to be dependable?  Then you have to be dependable.  If you want people to trust you, then you have to be trustworthy”

– Michelle Obama

How do you want to be?  Practice!

Aloha, Renée


Michelle, Malia, Barack, and Sasha Obama

Practicing being an artist – Banner Photo by Senjuti Kundu on Unsplash-


Thought for the Day: “A Man . . .

“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way” – Mark Twain

                                          1907 image from Wikipedia

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain, American writer, entrepreneur, humorist, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the “greatest humorist [the United States] has produced”
born: November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri died: April 21, 1910

What is a “cat” teaching you?



Banner Photo by Vinicius Benedit on Unsplash

Quotations: Truth

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” – Voltaire

‘The term propaganda rings melodramatic and exaggerated, but a press that — whether from fear, careerism, or conviction — uncritically recites false government claims and reports them as fact, or treats elected officials with a reference reserved for royalty, cannot be accurately described as engaged in any other function.” – Glenn Greenwald

“When we talk about lying . . . let us remember that the lie did not creep into politics by some accident of human sinfulness. Moral outrage, for this reason alone, is not likely to make it disappear.” – Hannah Arendt

“Stand up to hypocrisy. If you don’t, the hypocrites will teach. Stand up to ignorance, because if you let the ignorant run free, they will spread ignorance like a disease. Stand up for truth, because if you don’t, there will be no truth to your existence.” – Suzy Kassem

“Truth is proper and beautiful at all times and in all places.” – Frederick Douglass

From “Sunbeams,” The Sun, May 2017, p. 48.

Check for facts. Speak truth wherever you are. Aloha, Renée

Banner photo by Sam Wheeler on Unsplash

Quotation: “Sometimes . . .”

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry.

It merely astonishes me.

How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company?

It’s beyond me.”

  • Zora Neale Hurson,  American Author and Folklorist

Thanks to Paula. Aloha, Renée

Banner Photo: Zora beating the hountar or mama drum. A 1937 photo- from the Library of Congress.

P.S. For other inspiring quotations by Latina women, go to: <https//>

Thought for the Day: “Life is No Brief Candle”

“Life is no brief candle for me.

It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations” – George Bernard Shaw

Hope your candle is burning brightly. Aloha, Renée

Thought for the Day: “I nod . . .

“I nod to a passing stranger, and the stranger nods back, and two human beings go off, feeling a little less anonymous”  – Robert Brault



Photo by Victor Forgacs on Unsplash:

Let’s greet one another.

Aloha, Renée


Thought for the Day: Enjoy

In his book, Grist for the Mill, Ram Dass – American spiritual figure and bestselling author of Be Here Now and Be Love Now,  quotes his Guru Mahara-ji, who said,

“Enjoy everything!” 

Ram Dass says, “These days I try to simply love everything that comes my way, whether animate or inanimate, pleasant or painful.  I hope you too can learn to absorb life’s ecstasies and distresses into your spiritual practice so they are just more grist for the mill” (Introduction 2).   

Enjoy it all!  

Aloha, Renee

Banner photo:  Maui sunflower fields – Kelly King

Quotation: “People can debate . . .”

“People can debate how big a factor straight-up racism was in Trump’s victory.  But his yearlong drumbeat of remarks and tweets and retweets, [up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election – and beyond] giving voice to white resentment toward people of color and religious minorities, offending millions and pulling scabs off old American wounds–all of that was not too much for the 62,984,825 people who colored in the bubble next to Trump’s name” 

– John Biewen (from the audio program at the Center for Documentary Studies.  Biewen teaches and produces/hosts the podcast Scene on Radio).

From: “Sunbeams,” The Sun, September 2018, issue 513, p. 48.

In stark contrast,  Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries says in wonder of God’s ways that President Trump, although a flawed man, promotes Biblical values.  She notes the Bible says that when the righteous rule, the evil moan.  


Jan Markell  – Image from

Since Donald Trump and his friends have been in control, I’ve been moaning every day about the undermining of basic human decency and our democracy.   And I certainly don’t consider myself evil. 

How can we listen to each other and move forward together if each position feels the other is evil?  

Gandhi said, “It is no nonviolence if we merely love those that love us.  It is nonviolence only when we love those that hate us.  I know how difficult it is to follow this grand law of love.  But are not all great and good things difficult to do?  Love of the hater is the most difficult of all.  But by the grace of God even this most difficult thing becomes easy to accomplish if we want to do it” (Gandhi the Man, Eknath Easwaran, p. 108). 

http://Photo by Ishant Mishra on Unsplash

Although a struggle, we must find ways to listen and talk and work – together. 

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

Let’s talk, even – perhaps especially – to people we don’t understand – yet.

Aloha, Renee 

Banner photo: http://Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Quotation: “This troubled planet . . .”

“This troubled planet is a place of the most violent contrasts.  Those who receive the rewards are totally separated from those who shoulder the burdens.  It is not a wise leadership” –  Spock, Star Trek

“May the force [of imagined and real heros] be with you.”  We can choose change.

  Aloha, Renee


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