Farmers Are the Musicians of the Earth


Longevity runs in our genes and a few weeks ago, our family celebrated the 100th birthday of a great uncle.  As part of his birthday celebration, we were treated to an Okinawan taiko performance.

It’s really thrilling and mesmerizing to hear the rhythmic pounding of the drums.  There’s a lot of choreography, planning, and practice involved in a single piece.  Each drummer has his or her own certain drum or instrument to play at a certain time.  Everyone has a role to play at a certain time.  When it’s all coordinated, the piece comes together to make a beautiful performance.

As I watched each piece being played, I couldn’t help but think about how this is a simple metaphor of music and farming.  Very few people have a special talent and dedication to play for the masses but yet everyone enjoys having music in their lives on a daily basis.  It’s an essential part of what brings us happiness.

Like music, every person has a role and responsibility to play at various phases in their lives.  We can choose what instrument we want to play as part of this ensemble.  Some don’t even know how to play music at all but will listen to it.  The ones who want to make music take on a lifetime dedication.  They have a strong inner drive to learn that instrument well individually to develop a skill.  A single musician can play a few songs, but people really enjoy a variety of pieces at various times of their lives.  A singer can only sing without instruments for sometime before audiences get tired of it.  Eventually, the individuals desire to come together with mutual respect and cooperation in learning how to make even a richer sound.  Lots of practicing is needed as an ensemble to develop perfection for a formal presentation for your audiences.

The styles and sounds of music are also ever changing, just like farming.  Nothing is static as there are many different ways of playing instruments and even singing.  In Hawaii, we have traditional sounds of chanting to falsetto or even modern styles including a mixture of all the above.  With the introduction of the Portuguese came the ukulele that changed the songs we hear to this day.   We treasure the old sounds as well as the new sounds.

The technologies around farming isn’t much different either where the musicians of the earth can select which instrument they want and use their expertise to compose their masterpieces with.  There’s no one single way the music can be made.

The farmers are all the performers in these respective bands.  Each has their own skill and role to play.  If each member doesn’t take the time to practice or develop the right skills or some only focus on pointing fingers at how bad certain members are, how can that piece ever become mesmerizing and beautiful? It just can’t if there is no desire to work together to create an array of melodies for their eager audiences.

The leaders of the ensemble really have the hard job of maintaining its members and keeping people engaged and wanting to be a part of the band.  The members themselves must also support each other to stay focused.  As members age, they must look to the youth to develop a skill and spark a fire within them to pursue being a part of the band.  The band is only as strong and as sustainable as there is a desire to be a part of it.  Without new members, the ensemble numbers will dwindle and end.

The performers are supported by the conductors, the farm bureaus and our leaders, who help to launch and sustain the careers of their members.  Not only does the leadership have its musical recruiters using the strengths of its members, but there are also conductors who also provide the backbone for the musical direction.  That is our mayor and senators who help to provide strong leadership to guide the band as well as the public in supporting the longevity of the music.  Without them setting the example for the public, the band’s music can never be heard or enjoyed.  If they don’t support the music, then neither will the audiences as they set the example to others.

A concert can never be heard by the masses without a venue to perform in.  That takes many people to set it up and organize it.  There are heavy machinery folks, agricultural suppliers, construction materials, auto shops for vehicle maintenance, accountants and health insurers, marketing people and the stores to sell their products.  Many hands are working together to share our music to the world.

If the audience would like to partake in these performances everyone is welcomed.  Majority of their supporters are the ones who enjoy what’s being provided to them and are a gracious audience.  They can’t sit at a performance and tell the musicians what to play and how to play their melodies because they realize that they aren’t skilled enough to do the same.  It would be a terribly disruptive concert for those who appreciate the musicians efforts because they don’t like to pieces that might be new and unfamiliar to them.  Some audience members may be inspired to start their own band and play their own music if they choose at their time and place.  It’s a music that can be played but not in the same hall at the same time.

We have the potential in Hawaii to become a beautiful ensemble if we nurture it.  We have people who are doing the hard work of developing that great masterpiece.  A band is only as good as its strength in collaborating and taking responsibility for oneself.  It takes many to put on a concert for the masses to enjoy by a very few skilled individuals.  If we don’t continually support those skilled folks, we stand to lose an important piece of what makes Hawaii beautiful and unique.

Hawaii has its own unique music and sounds that many of us have learned to enjoy and grew up with.  There are people who haven’t learned to appreciate that music and adamantly refuse to learn the melodies we love and cherish.  Some farmers are using new instruments and trying out new songs that are reaching the masses faster.  Some farmers prefer the old ways to make their concerts. Their audiences have choices in the concert they want to watch.

Right now in Hawaii and in our communities, there are audience members who have taken on a very misguided role in the making of music.  They’ve decided to go on the Internet and spread disparaging remarks and share false information against certain musicians to get more crowds for themselves.  They’ve taken to not making music but heckling those who are trying to play their songs.  Some politicians have even sided with these ungrateful people who partake in the music but still criticize those playing it.  These people don’t encourage others even try to learn how to play the songs of our farmers or even desire to listen to those cherished ways.  Don’t let that few hecklers and those politicians in the audience forever change the music of our islands.  Leaders don’t shut minds down to experiences or use fear as an instrument to lead from. They take charge of opening minds and inspiring others to think outside the box and create their own music to share with the world and share that passion to do the same.

I want to hear all the music in harmony.   I want to hear all kinds of music and support all those talented musicians of the land.  Will you join me in supporting the musicians of Hawaii, the farmers? Let the music play in harmony and collaborate to showcase that beauty of Hawaii farms.  I want my children and their children to know those melodies of the Hawaii I love.  If we don’t help support and nurture these ways, we stand to live in silence forever.

The Future of Hawaii Can’t Rest in a Protest

  
Once again, the anti-TMT, anti-GMO, anti-everything folks are going to protest yet again.  This time, their groups have united to “protect” Hawaii.  They have decided to “malama the aina” and “protect the mauna” and save agricultural lands.  These folks can stay really busy doing all three.

I can’t help but remember the pleading cries of mothers and others who testified at multiple hearings over the last several years.  They accused the seed farms and farmers of “poisoning” their children and making them sick.  They pleaded with the legislators to protect them by enacting disclosure laws, buffer zones, and bans of biotech farms.  Many of these folks still claim that they are sick and attribute it to farms despite the fact that the evidence doesn’t support it.  The campaign by the anti-groups indeed were successful even without data.

If the “protectors” really care about these folks, why are they so busy fundraising for plane tickets and bail money?  I’ve seen so many gofundme accounts set up to raise money but not a single dime is going towards the alleged sicknesses that they claim of over and over.  They aren’t even funding testing of people either to confirm the source of their health claims.  

This activism also has its roots in anti-corporate attitudes but they actively make use of those services only provided by the very people they distrust.  The activists decry money and greed but then go out and seek money themselves to fund their cause.

   

 
The activists talk about not wanting outside influences having a say in Hawaii but then join with the Washington, DC based Center for Food Safety group.  This group is nothing close to being local at all and has created more wasting of our resources in the name of the malama the aina battle cries.  They can fund plane tickets but sure can’t pay back the counties for the costs of court proceedings on badly written laws.  

  

Can no one see the inconsistencies of these groups’ messages here?  They talk about this concept of “malama,” which means to care but then their actions show the complete opposite!  Imagine how much jet fuel and gas is used to bring people to Waikiki for a day of protest.  Couldn’t that time and money be better spent by cleaning a beach or helping the homeless?

If they want to keep the Mauna sacred, how about throwing the bail money and plane ticket fares towards the education fund instead? Replace what you plan to take away.  Create a realistic business plan to help stimulate the economy there with all the opportunities that will be lost.  The thousands of dollars used could feed the hungry or buy school books for those needy schools.

Last year, a Hawaiian civic group raised money and used it to purchase school planners for my daughter’s 4th grade class.  That indeed is a worthwhile cause to help educate children and helps the schools out so much.  Why aren’t these groups marching to raise funds for those underserved areas on the Big Island? Where’s the giving spirit for the keiki? Teach them how to care for the aina with education and not transient protests.

If people are really sick from farms, stop paying Vandana Shiva $40k per talk or ask her to donate it to care for these illnesses.  The Center for Food Safety paid a nice sum of money for the misinformation manual they sent out but didn’t donate anything back to the county for any court costs.  If they care so much for people, they’d spend our resources wisely.  

  
Our leader in Washington can’t even grasp the technology being adopted to help farmers grow food.  Representative Gabbard doesn’t even realize that by bring anti-GMO means she wants farmers around the world to use old, more toxic crop protection products.  She actually is supporting the pesticide companies in developing countries by blocking the adoption of biotech crops as they are separate entities there from the agribusiness companies.  Nor does she even bother to tell her constituents the real name of the law or disclose her political funding from the organic industry.  She fails to educate others that the regulation around GE crops was in the federal level after 3 county laws were invalidated.  Like former State Representative Jessica Wooley, who said there were no regulations on biotech crops, Representative Gabbard also has a hard time with the truth.    

So once again, the battle cries will start up in Waikiki, the center of the Hawaii they don’t want.  Little do they realize that by blocking farms, the land will be paved over and forever changed.  By blocking a telescope, they send a message to the youth that you can’t come back to Hawaii to pursue a careers in science and technology because the loudest minority will squash your dreams.  Our leaders too can’t see the unintended consequences of caving to all of their demands.  

As a parent, I don’t give in to my kids’ hissy fits.  By giving in to these fits, it only encourages more of it and encourages bad behavior.  Kids are prone to bad behavior and have to learn what is and isn’t appropriate.  The issues in Hawaii must be dealt with using a realistic vision and high expectations.  Using emotions to guide policy harms all of us and lowers the expectations.  It’s time for our leaders to demand this of those who want to be an integral part of policymaking.  If our leaders don’t stick to that vision, we stand to all lose.  My kids will never be able to have that bright future in Hawaii if we can’t even have leaders leading us on that path.  

I did notice that they used the Hawaiian proverb, “Pupukahi I Holomua.” It literally means to move together in one direction.  These groups are moving together backwards and not even making an attempt to work with anyone else in any issue which is clear.  It’s about what they want and not about working with anyone else.  They refuse to come to the table unless they get exactly what they want.  

I want our leaders to stick with a vision to make Hawaii better and be brave to make hard decisions in the best interest of everyone. Listening to the squeakiest wheel is distracting us from  becoming a better place.  We need those leaders now to stand up for our island state if we want a real future for our kids.  I’m a mom and that’s what I want.  Who’s listening to me?

The Beauty of Change

  
A few weeks ago, I headed down to the farm with my kids.  My dad decided that he was fed up with having farm property stolen and set out to put up a fence to hopefully deter thieves.  I decided that I better help out so I made my way there.

For a man in his mid 70’s, I am always amazed at my dad’s strength and agility.  He can pick up those 60 lb. bags of concrete like nothing and mixes it away with his hoe in the wheelbarrow.  He has his own plan on how he wants it all done, so I was the apprentice.  He had already dug the holes for the posts the day before and even aligned it all up already.  I helped with setting the poles and cleaning up.  

 
It’s really sad to think that the place I grew up isn’t the same place as it used to be.  The thought of people stealing wasn’t a huge deal as it is now.  We could trust the folks that lived around here and everyone watched out for each other for the most part.  It’s no longer like that.  

  
As I walked around the field, I started to notice the things around me from a simple rock to an old coconut.   The worn river rock was smooth from years of being exposed to the elements and lichen started to grow on it.  

  
The old coconut had its fibrous husk starting to fall away, leaving the nut loose.  Both the rock and coconut had changed in form over time.  

As I thought about this more, it is only natural that things change.  The way we live, eat, grow, and learn are all subject to change over time.  In our day to day living with hustle and bustle on modern lifestyles, I feel we sometimes miss out on observing those little things around us.  When life goes past us in a blur, some people long for the simpler days.

The culture of the moment is to reject every modern and new and go back to the old days that were perceived to be better.  Despite having so many conveniences, many people are desiring to return to old ways.  Some people do this by getting pierced or tattooed in traditional ways.  There are even old native practices being started up on Mauna Kea.  Some get into farming the old ways in an attempt to live like we did centuries ago.  Other people reject vaccines and medicines to go back to natural cures as a means of treating afflictions.  Whatever the case, modern life has many missing for the past.

There are things I do long for in the past but to want to turn back the hands of time is indeed unnatural.  Everything changes and it’s inevitable. In the environment, things change as well and there’s no stopping it at times.  To try and wrestle back to decades gone by is futile, however, we can take the good things from it and incorporate it into the present.

  
We can’t always save living things forever.  It may return but in a new form but still bring us the same meaning as it did before.  Whatever the issue may be, the past does live within all of us and provides lessons for how we act in the present and the future.  Learning how to adapt to change and realize what true progress really means.  I embrace the beauty of change but use the past as my guide for the future.  

The Food Babe Hates the Small Farmers of Hawaii

The Food Babe Hates the Small Farmers of Hawaii

 
Just when I thought there would be nothing more for me to blog, it never fails that some anti-GMO post comes up that just infuriates me.  Who is the latest awardee of the anti-education/ anti-farmer movement? It’s none other than the Food Babe.

The Food Babe has decided to attack the small farmers of Hawaii that includes my dad, brother, and their farm manager, Neil, as well as the hundreds of others including the organic farmers.  She posted an article telling her dimwitted, gullible followers to avoid Hawaiian papayas because they are GMO.  She spells out the types that are GMO and the ones that allegedly aren’t.  She even tells people to buy papayas from other countries and claims that even organic ones are contaminated.  

From her anti-Hawaii papaya post:

  

She never discloses any real facts about the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association either.  She only perpetuates the repeated, factless myths about biotech and tries to make a connection about pesticides to papayas.  Nor does she mention that the people who grow papayas here are all small family farms!

Why I say the anti-GMO folks are anti-education is because she has no mention about the nature of the modification or how this technology saved the industry here.  These activists talk about people being in the dark about GMOs but they obscure any facts from their followers.  Facts make people think and thinking is dangerous to this house of cards. 

  
She will never post real science or anything that actually educates people like this.

http://youtu.be/2G-yUuiqIZ0

I’m starting to think that this anti movement is really anti-American at heart.  They attack an innovation that has saved the smallest of farmers that have no ties to big ag.  They attack the legacies of long time, multi-generational farms here in Hawaii.  Majority of the papaya farmers here came to the U.S. with nothing and built themselves up through hard, honest work and dedication.  Their families learned the same lessons and carried on those same dreams.  The Hawaii farmers are becoming fewer as many are retiring and the next generation does not continue those farms.  Vani and her ilk must want people to quit farming altogether with the way she blatantly spreads misinformation.

It’s really disgusting how people like the Food Babe and others like Nomi Carmona of our Hawaii Babes Against Biotech can bring nothing but factless campaigns to our state and feel good about their actions.  They perpetuate attacks against the hardest working people I know.  They can sit pretty and go on TV or spout their BS about their “expertise” against farmers.  How can anyone with a conscious ever do such a thing? Apparently it’s easier to make money lying than it is to farm.  These women know nothing about earning an honest living through actual hard work.  A broken finger nail is likely devastation to their careers.

I applaud the generations of papaya farmers that toil on their farms everyday to grow their miracle fruits that Vani Hari calls them.  Yes, it’s a really good product that millions have enjoyed for nearly 20 years thanks to biotechnology.  Our customers who buy our papayas for decades know how healthy these biotech miracles really are.  Vani probably doesn’t even know that papayas are staples here and might contribute to why Hawaii is due to have the highest elderly population.   

So Vani Hari and the other anti-education activists out there need to get a clue and either work on a farm and grow a comparable crop.  They needs a lesson in honesty and some work ethics before them come criticizing my fellow farming friends.  When the Food Babe can grow a sweet papaya like our Hawaii farmers and talk real science, I might stop criticizing these charlatans of Google.

P.S. Food Babe better adopt her previationary principle with the imported papayas.  Many countries have their own strain of PRSV infecting the papayas making it a natural GMO.  Guess she’s better not eat these fruits at all!

 

Who Needs a Health Food Store When You Have Real Whole Foods

Who Needs a Health Food Store When You Have Real Whole Foods

It’s funny that I see so many anti-GMO activists claiming that once they got off of GMO “processed crap,” that they suddenly are cured from their ailments.  These folks like to claim that eating organic has made a huge difference in their lives because it’s more natural.  That to me is pure bunk.

  
Let’s talk about those whole foods that are in its most natural form.   It’s supposedly much healthier for you.This is clearly a whole food in its freshest state.  Heck, these are as whole as you can get and fresher than that wild fish caught a week or two before and frozen! 

  
The anti-GMO folks also claim that there is so much food waste that GMOs aren’t needed to feed the world.  The odd thing is that if you sold this at Whole Foods or other health food stores, no one would buy them.  These are chicken feet, a classic Asian delicacy! 

  
In many Asian cultures, nearly every part of the animal is eaten.  That includes the innards of animals.  My grandpa loved to eat his pork intestines in a rice soup! 

  
When I say everything is eaten in many Asian cultures, I really mean it.  That includes if ears and the snouts.  These are regularly found in the Chinese and Filipino grocery stores.

  
As I walked around the Filipino market, there was an array of goodies too.  One of my favorites is halo halo, which is a sweetened mix of beans, coconut strands, and jackfruit.  It sounds odd but is so delicious.

  
I also managed to find some processed yummies called polvorone. It’s made of wheat, sugar, and various flavors like coconut and sweet potato. 

I walked around this entire market and saw so many unusual vegetables and fruits that one would never find in a regular supermarket.  I did notice that I did not find a huge section for vitamins or supplements in this market, which got me thinking.  Stores like Down to Earth and Whole Foods all have huge sections for unlabeled, unregulated, and untested supplements. If the GMO free, organic food sold there is so superior for your health, why should you ever need to buy supplements?  

The Filipino favorite veggie, malungay, is now a hot commodity by the new age foragers.  It’s called moringa to them and the dried form of it can sell for $35 a pound! Heck, the Filipinos have been eating this for generations and not for the sole sake of being healthy.  It’s good stuff with mungo bean!

  

I smell a scam when the anti-GMO, just label it, right to know folks say eat clean, healthy, and whole foods but then try to sell you the most processed foods in the form of supplements.  Could it be that these people really do know something about the nutritional content of their products?

I think the largest workforce at the seed companies know better than the Whole Food patrons about the truth with eating whole foods.  These folks have been eating this way for centuries and they don’t need to have 4 aisles of their stores dedicated to supplements.  

Who needs buffet garnishes and exotic grains from distant areas of the world when you can get your food right here in Hawaii?  We mess up other people’s food supplies when we try to eat their “superfood.”  These folks know what works since they’ve been eating this way for ages.  And they are pretty smart to know that they don’t need to spend a pretty penny more to get good food.  There are no special labeling needed for these items either.  

It is ironic that the anti-GMO activists think that the immigrant ag workers aren’t smart, but then strive to eat what is their normal fare in the name of health.  The trendy eaters eat the things that these ethnicities have eaten for decades and think they are better for eating “healthy.”  I guess when you have lots of extra money, paying more for your health food gives you a higher moral standing than those workers that they’re trying to eat like.  I just have to chuckle to myself when I see this hypocrisy that really is unsustainable being a trend eater.
Take a visit to Pacific Market in Waipahu to see some real whole, fresh foods.

The Evolution of a Family Farm

My family has close to 80 years of farming experience.  My grandfather started it all.

My grandfather, Thomas Yushin Kamiya, as a young boy.

  

My dad collecting grass for his water buffalo.

  

My Uncle Paul with one of their dairy cows.


 

Fields of bananas planted.

 

My dad with my grandmother outside their old house.

  

Cattle grazing in the pastures below the Koolau Mountains.

  

My grandparents cattle roaming the pasture.

  

My dad, as a teenager, driving an old military jeep.

  

Back in the 50’s, my dad learned to hunt.

 

My grandma tended to her dairy cows every morning.


 

The old family house that sat beside the Koolau mountains between rice paddies.

   

My grandparents farming in Waikane Valley. They grew beans, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and bananas.

 

Our farm manager’s son helping out with the planting.

  

My dad plowing the field to get it ready for planting.

  

The trees that was saved by science.

  

Farming is a family thing with my mom and daughter processing the fruit.

  

Farming is a business and it takes HR skills and some marketing savvy to sell your goods.

  

Our farm manager, Neil, resting in the shade after a day of picking.

  

If it’s not picking or planting papaya, it’s fixing stuff.

  

My dad on his 1974 Ford tractor.

  

My brother, the next generation, planting next year’s crop.

 

My dad with my daughter, the next generation of farmers.

 

 
 

 

You Can’t Get on a Canoe Without a Real Plan

You Can’t Get on a Canoe Without a Real Plan

  
As I was looking at my dad’s papaya seedlings the other day, it really made me realize how things in nature are a reflection of our own lives in many ways.  

  
Every single papaya came from a single seed that was carefully bred and planted with care.  My dad crossed his Kamiya line with the Rainbow papayas to get his customer favorite, Kamiya Gold.  This little seed was carefully dried up and stored until it was time for planting.  

The papaya seeds were then placed into vermiculite to help sprout them in the protection of his greenhouse.  If it weren’t for this, the seeds would be attacked by slugs, snails, birds, and the elements at this early stage.  As these seedlings grow larger and stronger, they are transplanted into larger pots, and eventually grow large enough to be field ready.  Daily care is needed daily to ensure strong and healthy plants.

  
In addition to preparing the seedlings, the field must also be readied for planting.  This in itself takes months to prepare. Cover crops are grown after each field is plowed back when the trees get too tall to pick.  The crop itself takes months to grow. The soil must be plowed after cover crops have matured to encourage breakdown of the organic matter.  It will take sometime for the bacteria to fully compost the cover crop to replenish the soil.  Drip lines are also put in and the field is marked to set the proper row widths. Once the field prep is done, small holes are dug to place the foot tall seedlings into.

  
Once that field is planted, the trees will need fertilizer, pest control, and watering.  Dead leaves are picked off the trees to prevent damage to the fruits and some are even thinned out to ensure enough space for each one to grow.  After about a year, those trees will be ready for harvest.  

  
I realized that our lives are very much lIke these plants.  Everyone has the potential to develop and give back to others, just like the trees nurtured from the seed to plant.  We all start off on the same but the experiences we have and the inputs we are provided or denied, shape us throughout our lives.

Like seedlings, people have some set basic needs to even start off right.  Plants need medium, air, water, and sunlight to even start growing.  Once it uses its own food store and grows larger, it needs other elements to grow and produce fruits.  People are no different as they need the basics of food, water, and nurturing.  Without these to start with, neither plant nor people will be able to thrive.  The plants that don’t have the basic needs met will likely never be able to reach its fullest potential or will need extra care to make up for the effects not provided early on.  It’s the same for people.

As the person matures, just like a plant, their needs change but they will still need the basics and even more to become productive.  The trees will need more nutrients from fertilizers and some pest control to decrease the stressors on the plants.  By providing added nurturing, the trunks and roots become hardier to withstand the harsh elements.  People will need to learn skills via education and parental guidance and good role models to instill values that will keep them on the right path.  There will be constant distractors that can eventually stunt the tree and hindering its growth.   The added inputs set the foundation on which that person can excel upon just like the trees being able to provide delicious and nutritious fruits for years to come.

When living things aren’t given the basics early on and don’t have the right foundation to start from, these organisms can’t fulfill its maximal potential to become productive beings.  As a farmer’s kid, I had everything I needed in life and learned the value of hard work, perseverance, and striving to always to do a good job.  It is our nature to thrive, seek opportunities, do things better than before, and develop relationships. We as humans are always seeking to nurture each other as it comes from our instincts.  Like my dad’s trees that had all the inputs needed early on and cared for throughout its life, they provide the sweetest and most quality fruits around as a result of using tried and true lessons learned over the years.  

Hawaii is a hot bed for anti-everything activism.  We have lots to be against here.  If you live on the Big Island, you can be against geothermal energy, the Thirty Meter Telescope, and open ocean fish farming.  Go to Maui and you can be against GMOs and sugar cane burning.  After that, you can head to Kauai and join the anti-dairy and anti-GMO folks too.  No matter what your interest, you’ll find something to be against.  It gets pretty tiring that everything new is being blocked. Simply being staunchly against progress isn’t human nature.

The act of blockading things and denying our own instincts are counterintuitive.  Many of us have a desire to help others in some form or fashion and to do things better.  It’s in us to strive for that.  However, like a plant being denied nutrients or a baby denied human touch and love, neither can ever fully meet its full potential if the basics aren’t provided.  The nature of blocking biotechnology to farmers who are poor or use old chemicals to protect their crops keeps everyone else who depend on that farmer from having a productive and reliable food source.  Halting the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea delays the funding of scholarships and revenue for education in the poorest county in our state.  Using a nebulous term like sacredness to fight a battle shows they fight a war based in ideology and not one with a working and living vision for the future.

Without access to education, we all stand to lose when the children aren’t able to overcome the fearfulness of their parents.  They won’t be able gain opportunities to rise out of poverty and the cycle continues in the next generation.  Shutting down the sugar cane or biotech industry on Maui takes away from opportunities of hundreds of people who keep the lands in agriculture and erases a key link to our local roots.  Relying on misinformation to achieve such goals is also against people who have a conscience and sense of caring of others.  The anti-everything people accept misinformation, acts of vandalism, and threats against others who speak in support of advancement.  They can only see a world of black and white and in concrete, literal terms because they have never been exposed to the world beyond their own eyes.  Progress is frightening to those who live life through only what they read and see on the Internet or what their fellow family member tells them.  The world is scary when you haven’t fully opened your eyes and actually learned about what’s happening with technology and research.

We are always learning lessons throughout our lives of what works and what doesn’t.  We have learned to be more efficient and do much more with less.  We use technology to achieve this.  It is in our nature to continually ask questions and find answers to them.  Those who choose to be willfully ignorant and don’t truly research what’s happening around us are like stunted plants who never fully produce anything tangible for others.   We also desire knowledge and value education as a society where everyone has equal opportunity to achieve a higher goal and give back to our communities.  

It’s time to stop and think about the anti-everything mentality.  It is totally opposite of what the human spirit wants to become.  In societies where this was crushed and it was not considered a value, have people flourished and led the world in helping others? Have these societies nurtured their people to willing give back and care for others? The truth is that the anti way of thinking has crushed the human spirit and by doing so, has people forgetting that those who live with freedom should use it for the betterment of others in this world.  There is plenty of suffering around us and why should those with everything be the ones adding more to it.  The sad thing is Hawaii is turning into a place where a loud minority are willingly crushing spirits and dreams of the few who have that desire. 

We need people who are willing to go up and beyond what is the norm here in Hawaii.  We can’t let naysayers with no strong vision for the future dictate policy here in Hawaii.  They take away dreams and aspirations of our young people and close off minds with fear and unsubstantiated beliefs. Nor do these people ever offer facts since that will cause people to question their movement.  

My dad said that we talk about the crabs in the bucket mentality thinking it’s the lowest ones pulling people down.  He said it really is the top ones, the leaders, who are not fighting to get out of that bucket and lead people over and out beyond the comfort of that bucket.  The mentality that science is propaganda and progress can be denied is what’s going to sink Hawaii’s ability to get anywhere in the future.  How can we ever grow our base of innovators, problem solvers, and community contributors to make Hawaii better when being anti-everything is gloryfied? It’s just ain’t cool to protest and not have a real plan for everyone.

Even the early Hawaiian canoe voyagers knew that they just couldn’t jump in a canoe and paddle out aimlessnessly into the vast ocean.  They studied the stars, weather, and ocean to gather knowledge and developed a plan.  They even figured out the best design of a vessel to take them on this adventure.  They planned this voyage with the intent of living in a new place by bringing along animals, plants, and other supplies to sustain them when they get there.  A lot of thought and effort went into this plan before it was ever launched.  As a result of good planning, cooperation, and leadership, the Hawaiians managed to make it here and establish their unique culture.

Humans are always striving to be at their best and get somewhere in life.  My ancestors had that same idea which is what brought them to Hawaii.  The ancient Hawaiians also did the same things when they headed out in their canoes.  No one would have ever been here if our ancestors sat around protesting and never coming up with a real plan.  The journey of getting to our destination and striving towards a vision didn’t start with protesting the thing of the moment.  We are here because of a lot of thinking, nurturing each other, and leaders with the guts to inspire us to get somewhere.  That’s the culture needed now.