It’s All Relative

Today’s blog is inspired by a recent Facebook post by my friend Joe in Hawaii:

“While walking Zhora & Ranger today, a little boy (about 5 years old) came up to me and said, ‘Hi uncle, can I pet your dogs?’ For a split sec, my mind rewinded all the way back to my childhood days visiting Hawaii on vacation when every kid was calling everyone ‘uncle’ or ‘aunty.’  Although I rarely see or feel the ‘Aloha’ in Hawaii these days, it still does exist. Sometimes, you just need to pay attention to the small details.”

I’ve been to Hawaii twice: a business trip in the 90s and four years ago for the Hawaii Writers Conference (Hey, if you’re gonna go to a conference, might as well be our 50th state, right?). The latter was when I met my friend, and also learned that there was a different approach to life on the islands. I became aware of the tremendous spiritual connection to the earth, sky and water that encompasses the tropical surroundings. That spiritual energy is even more enhanced in the native visual and performing artistry. And, then, there’s the sense of family, as with the little boy calling my friend “uncle.” In Hawaii, even if one’s not a direct kin, they’re a kindred spirit.

I relate to the Facebook post for a couple of reasons. First, my own childhood in small-town Alabama had an extended family feel. At times, I was blessed to have had several sets of alternative grandparents and a few “second” mothers too! And, while there was no blood that cemented the bonds; there was love.

Secondly, when I tap into my spirituality and its link to the Universe, I always find myself developing new relationships. Relationships that are drawn to me. Relationships that will have a positive impact on my life. Relationships that I will cherish.

True story: On my last trip to Hawaii, a serendipitous meeting in The Royal Hawaiian Hotel pool led to even more friendships and shared similarities (born in Alabama AND now live in Palm Springs!). Years later, they’re more like brothers to me now. Meant to happen? You bet!

Like Joe’s Facebook message, “Sometimes, you just need to pay attention to the small details.”

Love and light,




4 thoughts on “It’s All Relative

  1. Beth

    Goose bumps all over! Thanks Tony! Just yesterday, out of the blue, a little voice told me to look up someone on FB from years ago in Enterprise. I found him in the same city as we have lived in for 12 years!! Enterprise, AL to Overland Park, KS!!! Can’t wait to get a reply to the friend request I sent him!! Love and miss you lots, V V

  2. Mike

    I grew up with that same sense of extended family. All of my parents’ friends were “Uncle [this]” or “Aunt [that].” (Not complete strangers, as in your story, but I still had a lot of “uncles” and “aunts.”) To this day, I still call them all that. In fact, you’ll find a couple of “cousins” in my Facebook family, who are really just the kids of my parents’ old friends. I like it.

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