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Letter for Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017

• Enough of the name-calling; live by aloha

Enough of the name-calling; live by aloha

Mahalo to Al Albergate for his guest editorial “How about a little respect for everyone?” (TGI, Jan. 22).

I agree that eliminating unnecessary personal attacks and name-calling could go a long way in encouraging constructive debate and discussion to help solve some of the challenging problems facing our island and our country.

On Kauai and across the country, we recently celebrated the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. In all of Dr. King’s writings and speeches, I have never seen name-calling. Perhaps that’s part of what made him such a great man and eloquent communicator — he always attacked or promoted ideas, concepts and actions; he stuck to the issues and resisted personal “put-downs.”

Nonviolence is not just about the absence of physical violence, it’s also about how we use words. Indeed, bullying is often mainly done through words — and not only by children!

We could create a new kind of community if each of us — in our homes, workplaces, churches and community meetings actually practiced the following principles of nonviolence in our speech (see thekingcenter.org):

1. Even as we disagree, we would seek to win friendship and understanding.

2. We would seek to defeat injustice, not people.

3. We would choose love instead of hate.

4. We would strive to live with courage because it takes courage and humility to be kind and mindful of our words.

We talk about “living aloha” — which doesn’t mean just loving our friends. If we could actually do this as we grapple with the very difficult issues — whether it’s vacation rentals, land use, GMOs and pesticides, feral cats, the dairy, traffic or water rights — we might find solutions that we never imagined existed.

JoAnn Yukimura, Kauai County Councilmember

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