TED Conversations

. .
  • . .
  • Boston, MA
  • United States


This conversation is closed.

Build peace: be on time

My Mom and Dad had written a few words on a paper and hung it on the wall in our kitchen. We grew up watching our parents invite all kinds of people into our home for dinners. Strangers. This included any person who was lost in the airport or someone they found lost on the street....A warm meal, pajamas, a clean bed in the guest room, a bathroom, and the next day after breakfast, often supplied with a gift (usually a sweater or socks), and a map they provided a ride to the train or bus station. Most of those people spoke a foreign tongue that none of us understood. But at the end of Mom and Dad's "hospitality adventure" my parents had added a line to their list on the wall and that person had walked away with theirs. To this day my family receives letters and visits from those travelers and their children and even grand children. Every time we gather together there is “letter” readings and....tears of joy.

The paper on the wall read:

Italian: Ti Amo
German: Ich Liebe Dich
Japanese: Ai Shite Imasu
Chinese: Wo Ai Ni
Swedish: Jag Alskar Dig
Greek: S'Agapo
Hawaiian: Aloha Wau La Oe
Irish: Thaim In Grabh Leat
Hebrew: Ani Ohev Otakh
Persian: Du Stet Daaram
Russian: Ya Lyublyu Tyebya
Albanian: Une Te Dua
Finnish: Mina Rakkastan Sinua
Turkish: Seni Seviyorum
Hungarian: Se Ret Lay
Maltese: Jien Inhobbok
Catalan: Testimo Molt
French: Je t'aime
Spanish: Te Amo
Eskimo: Nagligivaget
English: I love you

Now I wish my parents had learned to say " We love you" instead.
Will you help me rewrite this list and include your language too ??

~~ With Happy New Year Wishes~~


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 9 2013: You're absolutely correct about spiritual aspect of the Hawaiian language. However I believe that is also true of most indigenous languages. As a conservationist in Hawaii I cannot separate the Hawaiian culture from my conservation ethic. Before contact with Europeans, the Hawaiians had a very resilient and self-sufficient society. The population is estimated at about 1 million people. That's only slightly less than the current population of the state of Hawaii. Hawaiians were totally self-sufficient while in Hawaii today we import 95% of our food and all fuel. We have less than five days food supply on our islands and are totally dependent on our transportation system.

    My personal conservation philosophy is based on personal, community and global resilience. I have spent my life and my career caring for the land. Hawaiians call it Malama 'Āina. It is not enough to care for my small corner of the earth. It must start with personal resilience. Then if everyone takes care of their community, we can address the major issues facing our planet.

    It starts with personal resilience. Life long learning is vital to being able to respond to opportunities. Financial resilience makes it possible to bounce back from adversity. How many people do you know who can survive two months without a pay check?

    I help people set up aquaponics gardens. Our 4x6 foot garden supplies my family with a delicious salad every evening. I reach out to my community to help people be prepared for our next big storm. I help people create their own business that can provide them financial independence.

    The rugged individualist, so revered in American culture, is fine. I certainly believe in personal freedom and taking care of ones self. But, I also know the individual is limited by the time they can devote to a project. We can only reach our full potential by networking with others to accomplish our common goals.
    • thumb

      . . 100+

      • 0
      Jan 11 2013: I put " Aloha kākou " on the list for Hawaiian.

      " Malama 'Āina" sounds like paradise work. Going to natural preservations is the best form of vacation, for my family. And in moderating my topic here, people have kindly brought so much understanding. I have gotten to see pictures of the mother planet and a diverse beauty I never knew existed. One of the other treasures of my childhood was a book of natural history that fascinated us with how nature had grown its balance, showing a single flower had started and evolved 50 million years ago! We appreciate those who have worked to conserve nature, all its plants and creatures. Every creature has its rightful place in the world. It is amazing how reduction in the number of "natures engineers" (beavers) for example, would end up affecting the irrigation system of a whole land, derailing the future of the planet and negatively affecting humanity. It is sad to read that " In Hawaii today we import 95% of our food and all fuel " and I think that disrupting the " total self-sufficiency" of a civilization was the way of the past century. In this century the turn around is visible. Different cultures are infused with growing understanding and respect.Thankfully.

      The idea of every home producing its own food, is a great one worthy of a TED talk. May be you could show it to the world from here someday.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.