It’s the holidays and to me that is a time for giving. It is a time to get together with friends and family, catch up on old times but also a time to give back to others who aren’t as fortunate. Every single time I go the to market or to the store, I always have some cash handy to let my kids drop into the Salvation Army donation can. I also make sure that I gave my yearly donation to the Washinton University scholarship fund and to any other new cause that might need some help. This year I did give a donation to the Golden Rice campaign to help promote efforts to get to the people who need it the most. There are many people who could use that extra support at this time of year and if I have anything to give, I’ll freely give it if I can afford it. To me, that’s the right thing to do at this time of year and really, throughout the entire year.
Following what’s going on in the social media, I was surprised to see that the Gary Hooser is once again riling up his anti-GMO club. Tomorrow, December 15, all of his club members from the Babes Against Biotech to Hawaii SEED and more are going to do yet another march. All this human energy and resources are going to be used just a few days before the holidays to once again protest and get together. People are flying in from lots of outer islands to gather in Haleiwa essentially for an anti-GMO party. Gary Hooser, the head Kauai County Council member riling up these folks even blogged about this march to promote and advertise it to others. If you read it, he’s perpetuating his myths and conspiracy theories to get people “to rise up against this” and even thinks that people are “more educated” about the issues. I find it rather sad that Gary feels that during the holidays, he’d rather see people march against something and use all of these resources to do such rather than help others in the communities.
It is really sad that Gary Hooser has really lost sight of what the holidays mean and about teaching others to give. Consider what he really could have done that would have made someone’s holiday just that much better. If every person who flew into this march opted not to go and donated that some $200 to a charitable organization, wouldn’t that be such a good thing? Instead of using Honolulu City and County resources to cover the expenses of the march, these public funds could have been used in a different program to help the homeless or do something for a kupuna through one of the programs offered in the county. How about using all this human energy to visit lonely people in nursing homes or help organize a holiday food drive? These same people could have spent the day going into the native forests and cleaning out invasive species too. Instead of going to the march and potlucking it, go to the IHS in town and feed the hungry that day. These folks could even bring along their kids also to teach them what the holidays really mean.
Hawaii SEED even got a nice $10K check from Surfer Magazine to continue their misinformation campaign against farmers. It’s all about how to pit farmers against farmers and not about healing the farming community with Ritte and his group. I’ve never seen any Hawaii SEED give the needy food drive or help others event. They obviously have some money but aren’t about to give any of it to people who may benefit from it. You don’t see Hawaii SEED on the donation list for The Good Neighbor Campaign on the Star Advertiser. It’s not about sharing with others unfortunately, no matter what time of year it is.
The more you see what these people do, the more you see that it isn’t about giving for them. It’s all about taking away. The anti-GMO club even had a float in the Pearl City Parade also where they passed out flyers and GMO free candy. Instead of self promoting themselves and their issues, why didn’t these folks use that time and energy to actually give something back? What if they didn’t spend that extra money for GMO free candy and donated that proceeds to the Hawaii Food Bank for someone who really needs nourishment? They could take their kids with them and a nice sack of food to give to people who need it. It is so disappointing to see that they continue to promote the fear mongering that make the most vulnerable of people afraid and guilty of what they are eating, while many of them partake in GE foods and admit that it is safe.
A leader should embody and speak for the values that others should live by so that we can make our society a better place. We all should be working together to solve the problems of the world, not seeking to continually divide it. It’s the holidays where we should be working on making life better for others. The leader should be the example to others to follow by. Hooser talks about malama the aina and doing what is pono but what about malama the people too? It is pretty obvious that Gary Hooser is not one of those leaders.
By the way, if you should decide that you want to give to others at this time of year, here’s some great organizations that I think are worthwhile causes to support.
Remember that this is the spirit of giving and paying it forward. I did it and I hope you do too!