Though right can be relative, there is, no doubt, a right way for responsible stewardship, and we only have to look to the ancient Hawaiians for guidance.
Editor’s Letter: When I was growing up, my family would go camping every year at Bellows Beach Park. I remember getting stung—and the excruciating pain that followed—by a nasty Portuguese man o’ war one year. The little sucker had wrapped his stringy blue tentacles around the length of my arm. After that, I was determined that no one experience that kind of pain, so every time when we went camping, I made sure to comb the campsite’s broad beaches for man o’ wars, gingerly picking them up between chopsticks and dropping them into a 7-Eleven Styrofoam cup until it was filled to the brim. Just doing my part, for the good of beachgoers everywhere.
Putting this, the Stewardship issue, together, I’ve come to realize that the idea of stewardship is a complex one. It’s not simply a matter of doing what’s right, because for many, “right” is relative. I assumed I was being a good steward years ago, protecting all those people from the wrath of the man o’ war; the jellies, I’m sure, would beg to differ.
Not even halfway through the year, and already protests have spilled into the streets of Hale‘iwa, shoving matches have been caught on tape at the State Capitol, outbursts have erupted in the legislative session—all in the name of what’s right. The war on GMO, the debate about energy, the fight for land-use—I believe the emotions and actions attributed with these issues stem from a place of good, of a genuine interest to see that the future of Hawai‘i is lively, beautiful, and secure for future generations. Some call it naivety, I call it eternal optimism.
Stewardship can take many forms—including of land, of each other, and of ourselves—still, there is such a thing as “right,” absolutely. There is a right way for responsible stewardship, and we only have to look to the ancient Hawaiians for guidance. Their establishment of the kapu controlled when and how resources were used. Senator J. Kalani English, in a bill to establish a commission to manage the state’s natural resources wrote this in 2007: “As the native Hawaiians used the resources within their ahupua‘a, they practiced aloha (respect), laulima (cooperation), and malama (stewardship), which resulted in a desirable pono (balance). This is sound resource management where the interconnectedness of the clouds, forests, streams, fishponds, sea, and people is clearly recognized. … Through sharing resources and constantly working within the rhythms of their natural environment, Hawaiians enjoyed abundance and a quality lifestyle.”
We surely will never agree on all things, at all times, but I would hope to find middle ground somewhere on this trembling landscape we call home.
The Blooming Minutes When we arrive at a bar in Waikīkī just past midnight, the bouncers welcome her warmly. She lifts her basket high over her head to weave between drunken tourists on the dance floor, her blond hair shifting colors in the strobe lights. The deejay calls out, “Ladies and gentlemen, the flower girl is in the house. Show someone you care.”
When Pigs Fly: The Pig and The Lady For the Le family, food has always been a big part of who they are. Mixing authentic Vietnamese street cuisine with the gourmet palate that Andrew Le developed at Culinary Institute of America in New York, The Pig and the Lady has become a regular at farmers markets across O‘ahu.
The Music Inside Mark Koga Nearly a decade ago, Mark Koga picked up his first instrument, the cello. By the time he was 11, Mark’s interest had turned from classical to modern. He began showing interest in the bass guitar, and through a fortuitous string of events, Mark was introduced to the local punk scene in Honolulu via the band 86 List’s lead singer Josh Hancock.
Local Moco: The Cookie Man “I haven’t grown up yet,” says Wally “Famous” Amos. “Growing up has no meaning. Grown ups are people that stop having fun. They take life too seriously and forget to laugh about it. What’s the point of being serious?”