Real Pain

For the last week, I’ve been down with a terrible sinus infection and bronchitis. I usually don’t get this sick but it really wiped me out. Luckily, I saw the doctor and was treated to hopefully make my trip out to the Michigan State Plant Biotechnology symposium. Well, I did not get well enough to fly.

Just as I thought I was on the mend, I did a really dumb thing. I felt so good that I wanted to finish making my guava jam. Doing nothing makes me antsy and I wanted to get a project done. My guava jam was all ready to be canned when I somehow spilled the pyrex I had it in when a lid dropped. A nice cup of hot jam landed on my neck. I was sure glad it wasn’t the whole pot!

If you’ve ever had a burn, you know how badly it hurts. I went into first aid mode and quickly washed off the sticky jam searing my skin. I could feel the layers slither off as the water cooled it. After the hot stuff was off, I cooled it with a cold compress. It helped but the pain was just horrible.

As I sat waiting to hear back from the advice nurse, the pain just intensified for nearly 2 hours. It did eventually subside but still seared. Having intense pain really starts to grate on the mind. It started to make me think about how the anti-ag folks would constantly testify if the pain that they were in from living by farms.

The anti-ag folks would easily get packed up and on a plane to get to the hearings at the Capitol. There they would sit in front of legislators with their myriad of illnesses. Those emotional stories captivated the politicians who were so compelled by these actors. After testifying against farms, they’d all enjoy happy hour at the local bar to drink up some GMO appetizers and carcinogenic alcohol.

As I am sitting in pain right now, suffering is horrible. Real suffering is awful. The well-abled, claiming to be sick say they are in pain but look quite well functioning to me. These people have zero clue of real pains that they cause. If you are truly in pain, you will not want others to have to face it. They are well fed but make so many false claims that inflict real hardship in the others around the world.

If these anti-ag folks were truly suffering, they would be able to genuinely empathize with others. The truth is, they are not able to feel the impact that they have upon the millions around the world. They can only think of themselves and how they want to promote elitist organic, regenerative, Korean natural farming, permaculture, or whatever-is-trendy-sounding fairy farming terms to the non-farmer masses. They also thrive on using the courtroom to advance their claims while harming those farming.

As my neck still hurts like hell from my burn, I hope the politicians stop causing intentional pains to the ag community. We have been hurting for years because of your stances and decisions. You can ask for the farmers to shield you from the activists but we aren’t going to take it. Don’t smile at me while enjoying our papaya then legislate against us. Two faced people are saved for Halloween and aren’t appropriate for real life already.

Who needs zombies? I am one on Hallow’s Eve!


Mourning the Past Sacrifices the Future

The trend right now is to fight for the old ways. There are some who want to restore the Hawaiian Kingdom and others claiming “desecration” of a mountain in the name of preserving culture. Whatever the case may be, these groups are still on the mountain blockading the road.

Many are mourning the past and have been for some time. With the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope and the social media, people have decided to “rise up” against this. They all have their flags and attire to show their stance across our state.

I see many others also jumping on the bandwagon of standing up for the mountain. It is pretty fun to belong to a cause and feel as if you’re making a difference. The sad thing is if you ask the majority of folks against the telescope, few have any idea on how it came to fruition. None have a clue as to why the community and majority of the state were for it to begin with.

The very human tendency to operate on shortcuts is once again evident in this issue as it was for the GMO one. I remember the anti-GMO folks using a poll to claim 90% of people wanted it labeled but when the questions of the poll was changed, the result was much different. It is easy to quickly answer a question given the rhetoric on the media but when one is asked to think, the opinion is likely to change.

It is easy to get caught up into the emotional tsunami happening now where people feel compelled to join and say no, no, no. How sustainable is this wave going to last? When the hype over this issue is over, there will be another one and another. Is there a genuine goal of this movement who blocked taro research, GMOs, crop protection, water rights, and now the telescope? Did the Hawaiians become closer to becoming their own sovereign nation once the protest was over? Sadly, that goal was never met or will be met when one is constantly used for protesting.

Public opinion is easily swayed as we are seeing by the latest polling done on the telescope. Should we be surprised once we understand human nature? Nope. The protesters continue to mourn the past with no realization that their attempts to go back to the ancient days are robbing the future. The very keiki given opportunities to rise above their circumstances will be affected by the loss of opportunities. We as a society should be encouraging others to pursue an education and not stand static holding flags blocking a mountain. We humans are born to continually strive to do better in life for it is is the natural order of things. It is not natural to want to stay in one place for most.

What if my grandfather had told my dad that he could not join the Air Force and go to college? What if he forced my dad to only work on the farm the old ways and not trying technology? Our farm would have failed if we had been coerced into one path. Luckily, my grandfather supported my dad in his journey to become educated in what he loved which was farming. That little bit of support changed our family’s path forever and will impact my children’s future.

The protesters are thinking that forcing others to reject astronomy and follow the emotional path is better for the future. Sometimes we have to let go of the past but not forget it. We have to take leaps into the unknown to make discoveries that will have an impact on future generations. Humans are not stagnant beings but in constant motion to achieve and challenge ourselves.

We must move forward instead of backwards. The anti-crowd is determined to pull everyone down with them and they don’t care if it includes the future. That is why we must not let these loud voices guide the canoe in this direction where we as a state head against progress.

The early voyagers would have all perished if they were not determined to get out of the ocean’s doldrums. They paddled their way out and found a path towards a better life. The leaders of our state must lead and move us all forward so everyone can find their own life’s journey, albeit better ones.