Friday, December 16, 2011


Flag waving on the USS Bowfin submarine over the waters of Pearl Harbor with the Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri in the left background

My first thoughts upon waking this morning were of war and peace, not Tolstoy's epic novel or the end of the Iraqi war, but of a war so many of us wage daily as we strive for peace of mind.

In 1998, I waited with many others who stood along the southern beaches of O’ahu, facing east Waikiki where an extinct volcano jutted into the Pacific Ocean. Slowly, the battleship Missouri drifted around the land mass of Diamond Head, on the last lap of its journey from California to its new permanent home near Pearl Harbor's Arizona Memorial. The ship represented the second bookend of World War II. The peace treaty that ended the war was signed by members of the Japanese and American military on the deck of the Missouri.

I planned to tour the Mighty Mo along with family visiting from the mainland in 2007, only to learn the ship was in dry dock for renovations. My chance finally arrived on December 7, 2011, the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor; a fitting day to see the USS Missouri and the USS Bowfin.
Are wars inevitable, or is it just an inevitability that we accept wars? Either way, we can still obtain peace in our personal lives. By setting aside quiet time to reflect on the good the world has to offer, we can raise the bar from the low end, up...up...up, until a feeling of peace follows. Which bar? Why, the one that measures our mental state as it drifts between love and hate, happy and sad, courage and fear, or energy and inactivity.

Several weeks ago, an entertaining movie left me giddy with pleasure. Within minutes of exiting the theater, however, I encountered a situation that soured my mood. The rapid decrease of euphoria was disturbing until I realized my state of happiness is self-determined. It was my decision to slip from happy to sad.

Others may place obstacles in your path, but the final say in how you feel is yours. Will you love or hate, be happy or sad, become agitated or remain calm? Wars of the world may be beyond our control. But, ultimately, we maintain our own peace of mind.

Where will you set the bar to have peace in your lifetime?


  1. I think what you are saying is to think positively, which is good.

    I worry about they who have recurring thoughts on their mind and cannot delete them. It's as if, in a way they are prisoners of their unwanted thoughts.

    Gail, have a happy Christmas.

  2. Thank you, Anthony. Best Wishes of the season and Mele Kalikimaka to your and your family. By the way, that picture of lemon meringue pie on your site still makes my mouth water!

  3. Thank You Gail, I get many positive comments on my picture, which I wouldn't get from my real portrait. cm
    I heard that song for the first time 2 weeks ago by Bing Crosby (Mele Kalikimaka)


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