The BCC Compass – August 2023
August doesn’t signify the start of a new calendar year, but it has always felt like a time of new beginnings for me.
For some, August means returning to reality after a summer vacation. For students and teachers, it means kicking off a new school year. For all, the promise of crisp, cooler temperatures is in the air as we prepare to wel come autumn.
We are moving towards a time of change, which can often be both exciting and nerve-wracking.
This past June at our Strawbridge School commencement ceremony, I talked about the idea of “Imua” in Hawaiian culture, my personal heritage. Imua means “to move forward” or “to move ahead” towards a goal. I am sharing this message with our wider community as we all collectively dive into a new season of life, whatever that may look like for each of us. This may be a time of challenges, celebrations, adventures, or peace — no matter what, I encourage you to take this idea of Imua with you. Move forward through the change, working towards the goals you have in place for yourself.
So what does Imua mean? The term was made famous by King Kamehemaha I, the ali’i (king) who unified the Hawaiian islands. Before battle, Kamehameha would rally and call out to his warriors. He would say, “Imua e nā poki‘i a inu i ka wai ‘awa‘awa, ‘a‘ohe hope e ho‘i mai ai.” This translates to: “Forward my young brothers and drink of the bitter waters, there is no turning back.”
When I think of Imua and how to take steps forward in times of change, I am often reminded of this quote from U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven.
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter… And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
The little things in life can make the biggest difference and the most impact. Keep doing those little things that bring joy and purpose, even if it’s just making your bed. It will give you the confidence you need to go forward through life as change and new beginnings come your way.
I wish you Imua and a wonderful start to this new season.
Rev. Amor Del Rosario
Director of Spiritual Life, BCC Baltimore