I took this picture while at Ulu La‘au — Waimea Nature Park:
I honestly have no idea what it is, other than knowing it’s a very young tree of some kind.
I’m very sure it will look quite different when it grows a bit more, for it’s clear that it’s starting with rich DNA that simply will not be denied. Majesty sleeps within those young shoots, getting ready to reveal itself more fully.
It caused me to think anew about the values I’ve urged you to adopt this past week within the practice of our democracy — whatever values you choose — simply because I know that at their core (in their DNA within you), your values are good.
They’ll serve you well when you choose to grow them too.
It looks a bit awkward now, but I bet this will grow to be a very beautiful tree.
Nature is very good at embracing these awkward stages, and correcting her mistakes as she does so.
Just like values do.
Here is a description of DNA from Wikipedia:
Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms (with the exception of RNA viruses). The main role of DNA molecules is the long-term storage of information. DNA is often compared to a set of blueprints, like a recipe or a code, since it contains the instructions needed to construct other components of cells, such as proteins and RNA molecules. The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in regulating the use of this genetic information.
Compare it to this description of VALUES from Managing with Aloha, beginning on page 19:
… not only are values universal, they are highly personalized. They come alive with one’s personal mana’o (one’s thoughts and beliefs) and they are strengthened and continually reinforced with the nuances of their own experiences —a value can have kaona (hidden meaning) for someone in a way that is very uniquely meaningful for them. There is a self-awareness that is uncovered for you. When coupled with your mission and with Ho‘ohana (working with intent and purpose) the result is powerful self-motivation.
Our values drive our beliefs, and often they give our thoughts clarity. When we are true to our beliefs, the decisions and choices we make come to us naturally and easily, especially when we have a goal or objective in mind. It is easier to act on that which you believe.
I am a strong advocate for the writing of mission statements, as you will discover when we reach the chapter on ‘Imi ola (to seek life). Our mission defines our goals, and our goals drive our actions. And actions taken, true to clear beliefs that have been borne from good values, give us our integrity. Acting with integrity makes things right for us; it feeds our hunger to be intelligent, ethical and morally just.
KA LĀ HIKI OLA: Take a deep breath. It is the dawning of a new day.
Postscript: Does this look, or sound familiar?
I had previously published another version of this post on Talking Story in the context of KA LĀ HIKI OLA work we were doing in the early weeks of New Year’s 2011 with this result. It came back to mind for me as I grabbed time for some Election Day hangover reading yesterday, particularly in regard to a couple of writers speculating on how President Obama will now shape his legacy; second-term presidents do feel more freedom when another election for that office no longer clouds their future. There is more clarity in their thinking, and visions extend to longer-term potential. [This, at The New Yorker, was actually written by Ryan Lizza back in June: The Second Term.]
President Obama is now a leader with a far better chance to excel. Let’s all support and encourage him, so he rises to that expectation.