by Renelaine Bontol Pfister
As we stand at the beginning of 2023, our editors at Hawaii Filipino Chronicle asked, “What is your outlook for the new year? If you can change things about yourselves and the world, what would you wish to do?”
Do we have lofty dreams, or humble ones? Are our answers fitting for beauty pageants: good health and world peace? Darwin, a small business owner of HNL Ballpark Batting Cages says inflation and the high costs of running a business make it challenging to do what he loves.
He says, “We already took a chance by opening during the COVID-19 era, and now we face more economic challenges with high inflation costs across the board.” Still, he hopes to continue to serve the community. Darwin’s wife, Ava, who helps run the business and is an Occupational Therapist, says this year she would like to “Worry less and keep a positive outlook. Worrying about things that have not happened has been causing me less sleep at night and unnecessary use of my time.”
She doesn’t have to search far to find inspiration. She says “I admire my husband’s positive outlook in life and want to be more like him in this aspect. He doesn’t give up despite being born with club feet and losing his mother a few years ago. He has persevered and stayed positive despite all his pains in life.”Jim, who turned 50 on the 50th State a few months ago, says, “There is a traditional Korean drinking etiquette where you pour drinks for others when their glasses are empty.”
One never pours his own glass. He thinks there is a lot we can learn from this.
“When we think of others first and help those who are less fortunate, we make others happy. And eventually, that will make its way back to us. It seems like a simple thing to do, and we may have heard it many times before, but very rarely do we act on it. That’s what I, and hope others too, would do more this year,” he said.
Cindy, a physical therapist assistant and mother of three, says her outlook for 2023 is one of hope and renewal. “Many people I know personally and globally have suffered personal losses and difficulties. This new year looks promising, offering opportunities for healing and rejuvenation,” she says.
She continues, “If I could change things about myself this new year, I would try to balance my time better to allow more rest and relaxation. By being in a better mental state of mind, I can help others more effectively in my personal life, with work and in the community.”
Meanwhile, Sheila, a physical therapist and mother of 6-year-old twin girls (who are in love with dragons), wants to “Continue to be more receptive of other people’s viewpoint and beliefs that don’t align with mine and to actively remind myself that someone’s conviction or faith does not define the person as a whole. Just because a person does not subscribe to a certain religion or a political affiliation does not mean that the person is not good or the person is obtuse.”
If she could change something, she would address “cancel culture,” a form of ostracism that has become familiar in this social media-centered environment.
Sheila says “A tweet, a picture, or a comment that was touted 10, 20 or 30 years ago should not be the basis for that person to lose their livelihood or for their reputation to be tarnished. I try to subscribe to the idea that most people’s perspective and inclination can change over the years and their current attitude and action should be the grounds on how we form our opinions of them and how we proceed with our interactions.”
I applaud these answers, which focus on positivity and the betterment of society. And if you ask me, good health, and world peace sound like wonderful goals to aspire to in the new year.
by Renelaine Bontol Pfister