In Pearl City, a 'messages of life' wall prompts poetry, inspiration and encouragement

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Next time you go to the Pearl City Shopping Center, make sure you check out the wall near the entrance to Foodland and Don Quijote.

It's plastered with Post-Its.

"This is a public wall. That's the way we see it. And this is a wall for the community of Pearl City," the center's owner Duane Kurisu said.

The wall has been dubbed the "Messages of Life Wall." It's a collection of personalized notes. Think of it as social media — minus smart phones and tablets.

Kurisu saw a similar wall in New York City's subway and decided to bring the idea home.

"I think people need an outlet to express how they really feel," he said.

The rules are simple. Hurtful messages are removed and no profanity's allowed. Other than that write what you want.

Jodie Young recited the encouraging sentence on her note.

"You are stronger than you know and you're doing great!" she said.

The messages express humor, frustration, and inspiration.

Barbara Balino said personal loss inspired her to write, "Death hurts loved ones, but memories live on and on and not forgotten."

Wilmer Briggs used poetry in his Post-It.

"Yesterday is gone, forget it. Tomorrow may never come, don't sweat it. Today is here so use it," he said.

"We have messages from children -- they're so innocent and so positive -- to seniors who are concerned about their futures or they're missing loved ones and they want to post that message about their loved ones," said Barry Villamil of, who oversees the wall.

The shopping center provides pens and paper. People add creativity.

The wall started three weeks ago with just a handful of notes. Now there are about a thousand.

"I think it's awesome," Balino said. "Normally people bottle it up inside them and they don't like to express things because it's private."

"I truly believe it's a positive thing. It really is," Briggs said.

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