Sakamoto Properties

Special Guest Dayle Spencer:
Discussing Civil War, Peace Talks & Transitions
October 15th, 2013

Betty Sakamoto: Aloha and welcome to Betty's Real Estate Corner brought to you by Sakamoto Properties where prestige is our business and reputation our foundation. In the studio today, I've got someone that's never come here with me before but she's been a good friend of mine for more than 25 years: Dayle Spencer. I'm going to introduce you a little bit and tell you a few things about her and then I'm hoping that she's going to step up and share a lot of information about what she's done in her lifetime. She was a Federal Prosecutor in Atlanta, she did some amazing things while she was in that position. She worked with President Carter in the International Negotiating Network and she did conflicts such as North and South Korea. She actually set up the process that we utilize in the negotiating that was done by President Carter. So I think that there's so much of a story, there's fifty countries that she's worked in. So, I'm going to have her kind of fill in some of that and we're going to bounce some ideas. We've been close enough that we're a little worried that we could get the giggles going if we allowed ourselves to I think. She's lived on Maui off and on, her children graduated from Seabury Hall, they reside in West Maui and now have a business called Pangaea Group where they do a variety of things. It's kind of pretty amazing and they do conflict negotiation for a variety of companies worldwide. And, they also do a transitions thing here in Maui transitions would be someone, the long and short of it I would say, someone that's in a major change in their life. They could be retiring, they could be changing jobs, they could be in a medical situation that changed their life, but they would come to Dayle and her husband, Will Spencer, and do some sort of a transition thing. It might be individually or it could be as a group. But, I'm going to have Dayle say "hello" here and then give us a little bit of information on transitions and the other things that she's done. Welcome to the show Dayle Spencer.

Dayle Spencer: Thank you Betty, it's wonderful to be on your show at last. You're right, you have been talking to me about this radio program for some time, and I'm glad we have been able to work it out to be able to be with you today. B: Perfect timing. D: And like you think, I love Hawaii so it's a pleasure. It's a real pleasure to be specially on the air in my own backyard in Maui. Thank you for that lovely introduction, it was very nice. I sometimes refer to myself as a recovering lawyer actually, you know. I've spent a decade as a federal prosecutor in Alabama and it was a very intense time. But, I hope that I've come a long literally, and metaphysically, from that place and have grown and learned from it. The country experiences that I've had in the, almost, decade that I've worked for former President Carter were also life-changing. They were in civil war situations where we would go in to a conflict like in Sudan or Ethiopia or in Liberia, for example and try to find a way to help the parties come to a peace agreement so that instead of continuing to kill each other. In Ethiopia, for example, they've been at war for thirty-six years and poverty, and so many things, comes as a consequence of a country being decimated like that. So, we were trying to elevate them to a different standard of living and a different way of dealing with their differences and that's how this whole idea of an international negotiating network was born so that the civil war situations could get the attention they deserve since the United Nations can't get involved in those internal conflicts.

B: You know Dayle, I remember you once telling me that at any given time, there are X number of conflicts going on in the world. Yeah, and I don't remember a number but I remember looking it up and discovering this monumental thing and I would assume to this day that if we were checking how many conflicts - that are almost wars, or actually are wars - are going on today that you're aware of?

D: Well you define if you define it in that way at any given time there about three dozen wars being raged throughout the world and the great majority those wars are internal, within a nation. Like when our own country went through the Civil War between the North and the South. Or when many other countries have done that in subsequent generations, The United Nations which is the only tribunal globally that becomes involved legitimately, in wars they have no jurisdiction when it's internal. So these civil wars can go on for decades or for generations without resolution. Precisely because they don't get the attention they need. Ireland and Liberia and Ethiopia and so many places in the world have suffered tremendously for decades from lack of political will.

B: Ireland is - I happen to be 100 percent Irish so I grew up with this knowledge a war going on in Ireland that simplistically was about religion. You know, there with Protestants to the north and the Catholics to the South and it was always hard for me to imagine it. And Dayle actually did some help in the resolutions there in Ireland and I do think Ireland is pretty calm these days.

D: It is much better than it has been for a very long time. President Clinton was instrumental in bringing a level of d tente to the situation Ireland. You're right, there was an underlayer of religious differences and religious intolerance that was a part of that. There was also a political underlayer because the British were not welcome in Northern Ireland. You know, anywhere you go in the North you'd see sometimes it would say "Brits out". They didn't want them in their country. But there was a huge economic layer to that conflict as well. The North was so impoverished relative to the South. Jobs were just not available and when people are unemployed and they have no motivation to make their lives better and they don't see the future as "hopeful", it's easy enough to fall into blame and hatred and using someone else as an escape goat or the reason for your troubles and that's a classic dynamic that you experience in more situations where poverty is one of the underlying causes. So, certainly in the Irish conflict which, by the way, wouldn't rise to the level of a war, except sporadically mostly it was just a conflict between the North and the South. But there was an awful lot of blaming the other side for the lack of resources or the problems and the troubles, as they were called.

B: Well again, I grew up with that being the biggest thing in the world as there was always someone in my family that was from Ireland, talking about Ireland, going back, etcetera. So that one was a little bit closer than other conflicts to me. And yet when I realized at one point that they were probably 36 to 40 at the time I was looking up conflicts going on, that maybe some of them were at a war status. But like you said Ireland probably within a war status. You know, one thing that I'm going to quickly say, remembering that this is Betty's Real Estate Corner is that you can reach us for real estate and today we're going to kind of skip over real estate. But at Sakamoto Properties: (808) 669-0070, that's (808) 669-0070, you can check us out at SakamotoProperties.com, find us on Twitter at Maui Sakamoto, or connect with us using hashtag #BettyMauiRadio. So I'll probably toss that out again at the end but I just feel like every time I talk to Dayle, I'm astounded by her knowledge in what she's done and the places that she's been. Today she was telling me a little bit about if she was traveling in the African nations. How, if she was then she needed two passports. Tell us a little about that because that really was unusual.

D: This is during the period of time that I worked for former President Carter, during that decade of my life. But South Africa was under the system of apartheid, which was a racially divided segregated system where basically if you were black get back. They so discriminated against any person of color in that nation. The rest of the world condemned the apartheid system and if you were a traveler and you went to South Africa and you cleared customs in that country, of course, they would put an entry stamp in your passport and if you left South Africa and tried to enter many other nations in the world, especially any other nation in Africa, the entire continent of Africa, you would not be allowed to enter because they would assume that you were a sympathizer or something supporting the apartheid regime. And since they were trying to eliminate apartheid globally, you just wouldn't be allowed to travel anywhere else except South Africa. So what happened because we were trying to end apartheid too but in order to negotiate you have to meet with all parties and so it was necessary to go to South Africa to do that. So I had to have a separate passport just for travel to South Africa and a different passport for travel to the rest of the world. And, you know, I would use my South Africa passport only for entry and exit into that country and then my other passport which was pretty thick for everywhere else.

B: And that was an acceptable thing to do to have two passports.

D: Totally, the State Department was 100% supportive of it. It wasn't a secret at all, I had to have permission to do it. But certainly we went with the full understanding of the state department that it was really the only way to try to have a peace process that would honor both sides. You can't negotiate an end to a conflict, whatever the conflict is, whether it's domestic, within a family or between neighbors. You can't negotiate a solution unless you're able to work with all the parties and in South Africa that meant working with the white regime that was creating most of the problems.

B: Interesting to say the least interesting. That to me, learning about the passports itself, was kind of a monumental thing. I mean carrying two passports and I would almost think at some point the fear that somebody else would find the other passport if you were in other countries.

D: That wasn't so much the fear for me personally as one time, I was in South Africa and I was interviewing a youth who had actually been tortured by the police and military. They were beaten with a thing called a "sjambok" which is pretty much a rubber whip. And I've taken photographs of their injuries and I intended, when I came back, to write about it in newspaper articles that would be nationally syndicated. So I was trying to bring out of the country one of these weapons they were using for torture and I was actually stopped in customs in South Africa and had they searched my suitcase which was on the conveyor belt at the time, they would have found this evidence that I was later going to be using against them in the Human Rights articles that I was writing. Fortunately, they did not and that was the greatest fear for me, it was not the fear of them knowing that I had two passports, it was a fear of them knowing that I would publicly write against their interest because there was no room for negotiation at that point and some human rights violations needed to be made known.

B: You know, Dayle and her husband Will have a website Pangaea-group.com and you can take a look at that. One of the things that they do is they work with a lot of companies worldwide and some of them come to Maui and they travel a lot and go to other countries. But working within the organizations trying to help with what - in even a small office - you can call a conflict. When things aren't going good and you really need someone to assist you, you know, that basically and simplistically is what they do but they also have this other part of their business because we only have a half hour gonna have to get into that now. But I think it's another very interesting thing: transitions. Probably you currently are doing quite a few other transitions, I'm not quite sure exactly what to call them, transitions programs. But I think it's pretty amazing. Again, it could be a small company that's sending over some people. I remember some companies, a few years back, that had to lay off a lot of people but you know we're still trying to take care of their people and assist them. They would send them to do a transitions program. And I think Dayle and Will traveled around the world again for that too to work with people, you know, to work with the companies to assist people and how they move on with their lives. Can you fill us in a little on how that works and why it works?

D: Sure, you know if you think about this Betty, on a global level or on a macro level. Even in the peace negotiations that we do it was really all about change. Whether it's change from a civil war situation to a peace situation in society, or in this case a personal, individual change where people are going through a major juncture in their life. It could be a midlife change, it could be a change in status such as divorce, or it could be something inside them telling them that it was time to alter whatever they had been doing. So people come and spend a week with us on Maui in our Maui Transitions Center Program and we use it as kind of a course correction in life. It's a chance to look back at your entire life with some thoughtfulness and reflection and to consider the junctures and decisions that you have made up to this point in your life and you really drill down into what is it that you want to do with the time you have remaining. You know, if we have an hour, a day, or a decade, or just tomorrow remaining, but we do have choices about how we spend that time whatever the length of that time happens to be and Transitions is a place where people can come and get out of their normal, busy activities to be quiet and reflective and we've developed this process based on our corporate experience where principles of managing change can be used for major life changes as well as corporate changes or even political changes within nations.

B: I like how you called it a course correction, you know, because I think that's clever. Again, I like little, simplistic things. In a lot of cases we all are on a course in our lives and maybe we don't need a whole major change but a course correction. I kind of liked the sound of that and kind of get that.

D: Well here's an example of what I'm talking about: bad things happen to all of us. You know, the question is what do you do with the opportunities presented by something bad happening to you. Your choices are that you can choose to see yourself as a victim or you can choose to see this as somehow being inflicted on you, you can choose to look at it and say, "okay, that thing happened so now what" or even "that thing happened, now how do I learn from that and grow from that". What happens when people make that choice after some bad thing happens to them, when they make the choice to stay in victimhood the consequences of the bad thing that happened are magnified. But if you make a different choice which is a more positive choice to say, "this thing happened, there's no denying it. What can I learn from that or how can I grow from that or how can I take that and make something useful from it". Then you limit the impact that the bad thing had on you and you might also have the possibility to take the bad thing and use it productively.

B: Again, monumental statements. I mean, I could take those and probably pull them apart a little bit and because I've talked to you enough I guess I could do that. But again, on a day to day, when you have someone come in, it seems to me that you have someone and you meet with them. I've been with your office when you've had some amazing little tidbits up on the wall which I really like and frankly I can't think of one of them right now. I should have written them down ahead of time but I liked seeing that. You know, it would be kind of like a couple little can you think of any of them that have been up there recently?

D: Well I was working with a client just yesterday who's trying to make a major life decision about, are they going to stay in Hawaii they live in Kauai, actually so are they going to stay in Kauai or are they going to move back to the mainland. And Greta has a great quote about that: If there's anything that you dream you can do or want to do, begin it, because deciding something has power and magic in it and you begin now. I can only paraphrase it because it's just that thought that whatever it is that you want to do in your life: Get on with it.

B: Well I think that it's the theory of the pebble in the pond. You know sometimes if you've got something that you want to do and you start talking about it and you need to do this but then it would do that and it would trigger this and that would happen and you can't really do it, etcetera, etcetera. If you do one little thing, put one foot in front of the other. One tiny change and that's the pebble and all of a sudden everything around you suddenly changes because you did make one tiny, tiny move. You threw that pebble.

D: Well, you're throwing that pebble and you're clarifying your intentions. Your intention is to take that step and when your intentions are clear it is amazing how the universe lines up to support you. When you declare what it is that you intend to do then suddenly all this energy around you lines up to give you the thing that you're clear about. Pathways appear and obstacles are removed and things happen, it seems like magic, I mean Greta called it magic. It's really, Wayne Dyer would call it "the power of intention".

B: Well I think that "pebble in the pond" is something that's always been clear to me and I think that it is amazing. For whatever someone's doing, partially, I think what you just said that struck me is that sometimes if someone needs to make a change in their life for whatever reason maybe there's been illness and they need to do something or there's been a divorce or there have been a lot of things and people have seen you certain way so they don't talk about it and they don't want to maybe discuss the illness they don't want to make it harder, they don't want to say that you should get divorced or you shouldn't get divorced. They don't really want to get into it but what you're saying, kind of is, if the person is at that first stand and they kind of declare their intentions all of a sudden life can change because now everyone around them will adapt to what they're trying to change too.

D: That's right, and what really changed was you.

B: Yes, okay.

D: When you shift, we all shift. So, if it is to be let it begin with me. You know, if you want to change something then the first thing you have to do is change yourself, no matter what the thing is. When you shift, the energy around you will shift. Your family will shift, your colleagues will shift, and the community will shift.

B: You know, I've always loved that Michael Jackson song: I'm looking at the man in the mirror.

D: And it's me.

B: And it's me, exactly. I think it's really great. Well you know, I think if somebody is looking to reach Dayle and Will I'm sure that they could discuss what they do if it is something and again, I think probably the Pangaea-Group.com will get you in there. I kind of went over and I read Dayle's biography over the last couple of days because I knew she was going to be here. It's a very amazing biography and you could definitely take a look at it. But, you know, between Jimmy Carter and her period of time as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, etcetera, it really is amazing the companies they worked for: like Arthur Andersen, Mercedes-Benz North America, Bill So, Andersen Consulting and I don't know. I just think that for Maui we have an amazing resource here that we would never have had if Dayle and Will didn't step into this. Oh wait a minute, excuse me, if we didn't sell Dayle and Will a house twenty-some years ago.

D: That's right.

B: Exactly, yeah and get them here on Maui. So it all starts with a real estate deal.

D: It comes right back to Roy and Betty Sakamoto. The truth of the matter is: when we decided to move to Maui, we sent out three letters to realtors asking for advice and input about real estate. Roy Sakamoto was the one realtor who responded to those letters and you guys ended up selling us, not only a house in Pineapple Hill, but a Golf Villa, we had a Ridge Villa for a period of time and we recently bought a house at Alaeloa. All of which were purchased and sold through Sakamoto Properties. So I think I have some sort of record as being one of your best customers.

B: She is definitely one of our best customers and we've definitely had fun looking at real estate over the years because all of a sudden something has changed with them and then we've kind of gone and started again the process. They sold the Pineapple Hill house when the kids were still going to school at Seabury Hall.

D: And Lahainaluna, I might add.

B: Oh, that's right.

D: There is a Lahainaluna graduate.

B: There is a Lahainaluna graduate, so Seabury Hall and Lahainaluna. Really, they've been and they are great Maui supporters with Hale Makua and she maybe doesn't know it yet but I know that she's going to help us a little with Lahainaluna High School. I've been kind of recruiting and thinking about that for a while. You know, we just passed our two-minute warning and we're probably pushing down to a one-minute warning. So why don't I say again, if you want to talk about real estate, which is what we think we're really doing here, give us a call at Sakamoto Properties (808) 669-0070, check us out at SakamotoProperties.com which has all of our listings. It gets you into the MLS and I've had a couple of people who have called me recently. Actually, here's the embarrassing one: I had somebody that I was showing a property through another broker and when I met the client he said, "Oh my God, I look at your website all the time". So I'm thinking, "Well, why didn't you call me". But, for whatever reason he was telling me that they look at our website all the time, and obviously they came in and met someone because the bottom line is meeting that special person that you can work with. But I do love, we have this great website that has been set up for us by Meyer Computer. And you can reach him at MeyerComputer.com when you're looking for it. So, we're going to wind down here pretty quickly and we're going to have some music coming back on so hang on there and here we have Danny Couch again "I Love Hawaii" and I love Hawaii.

D: Mahalo Betty.

B: Thank you Dayle, mahalo.

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