Page 2 - Hawaii Island MidWeek - January 18, 2023
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       Choosing The Light
“You can choose to accept the darkness and lament it, or you can choose to expand the light until the darkness no longer dominates.” — Deepak Chopra
      HPelé Scored In Hawai‘i
Life for our small fam- ily was going swim- mingly. My husband, our young daughter and I had taken the plunge and moved from the Midwest to Hawai‘i. Our ʻohana was growing dai- ly as we became immersed in new communities where peo- ple accepted our family with open arms. After leaving the cold, stark prairies of Iowa in an early spring that still felt like winter, we had come to a paradise of constant warmth, a world of hope that seemed as limitless as the vast Pacific Ocean.
There were choices: opti- mism or fear; hope or despair. I chose light over darkness, the same approach as when our daughter was born after we learned about her extra chromosome. Even though I had been warned before I en- tered my husband’s hospital room that we might be having our last conversation, I never stopped believing. My faith that the universe helps us find our way through the unknown was reinforced. When a doc- tor reexamined my husband’s scans, he reported we could focus on recovery instead of surgery.
e came, he saw, he conquered, he scored four here and now he’s left. Pelé was the greatest soccer (aka futebol) player ever. You might quibble about
When his husband suffered a stroke, the author chose hope and optimism over fear and despair.
suffered a stroke. Suddenly, I was facing the prospect of being his caregiver and the primary parent for our daughter who was born with her own set of challenges. The seriousness of the situa- tion was brought home when I was told that my husband, a Harvard-trained linguist who spoke seven languages, need- ed surgery and might never be able to speak again.
thriving. My husband has re- cuperated fully — and picked up two more languages! Our ʻohana continues to grow, and hope again seems as vast as the ocean that surrounds the island that has become our permanent home.
Rüdiger Herzing Rück- mann is a Plain Quaker, poet, and high school program di- rector and lead teacher at the Honolulu Waldorf School.
Chasing The Light is pro- duced by Lynne Johnson and Robin Stephens Rohr.
Messi, Ronaldo, Maradona, Cruyff or others, but no one did more for the sport and in bringing the world together than did Brazil’s Edson Arantes do Nascimento, who died Dec. 29, 2022.
Many ’60s kids wanted to be like Pelé long before any- one wanted to be like Mike (Jordan) or LeBron.
Pelé played at a level that no one had ever seen before, literally. His contests with home squad Santos were avail- able only via radio, thus his larger-than-life legend grew, as did his goal-tallying sheet. The only man to ever play on three World Cup winning teams (for native Brazil), Pelé was revered as he simply displayed his not-so-simple gifts with grace and purpose. Allegedly, a Nigerian civil war cease-fire was declared for 48 hours when Pelé went to play there in 1969. Back in 1961, Brazil’s military government brazenly declared him a national treasure so he wouldn’t ever leave Santos to play overseas in his prime.
Then, without warning, our world collapsed into the stroke unit at The Queen’s Medical Center.
Abundant light has re- turned to our family. Our daughter has now spent most of her life in Hawai‘i and is
Think about it.
At age 41, my husband had
with Rüdiger Herzing Rückmann
   Fill in the blank cells using numbers 1 to 9. Each number can appear only once in each row, column, and 3x3 block. Use logic and process of elimination to solve the puzzle. The difficulty level ranges from Bronze (easiest) to Silver to Gold (hardest). Answers are on page 11
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 And he played here twice. In April 1976, 21,705 fans witnessed the Aloha Soccer Festival, and Pelé didn’t dis- appoint, scoring four times as his New York Cosmos (of the nascent North American Soccer League) rolled over Japan’s Team Honda, 5-0. He returned to Aloha Stadium in mid-1977, during the lone, local season of Hawai‘i’s NASL squad. Nearly 13,000 watched as his Cosmos squeaked by Team Hawai‘i, 2-1.
Pelé’s global humanitarian efforts against racism, and for UNICEF and other noteworthy causes, were acknowledged by everyone from Hawai‘i Gov. George Ariyoshi (who pre- sented him with an award preceding that 1976 tournament here) to Nelson Mandela and the queen of England. He won the International Peace Prize in 1978, and while not as outspoken as his contemporary sports icon, Muhammad Ali, Pelé was never shy when asked about the rampant racism he encountered as a youth and into his playing days as a global ambassador. Like Ali, he provided a new hope and brought pride to tens of millions worldwide, including disadvantaged, dark-skinned youth — all with a smile.
We’re lucky that Pelé showcased his joyous demeanor, aloha and unmatched soccer skills here twice. Soccer (in his book, it’s called the “beautiful game”) is Earth’s most popular sport (not pickleball) and Pelé evolved it in so many ways. Obrigado!

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