Sunday, April 20, 2008

Is There Any Hope for Hawaii?

Reading the newspapers, one definitely gets the impression that things are “out of control.” and there is no “community” anymore -- as all those who could be leaders, are locked on the outside, and those on the inside, have no idea what they are doing anymore -- and by and large, nobody cares except to receive their next paycheck -- and hope that it will remain that way for as long as they live. What happens then, they don’t care because it is then somebody else’s problem -- because they’ve already got “theirs,” so why should they care?

That attitude is starting to permeate all of life and culture in the Islands, despite the ever-fancier “Mahalo” and “Live Aloha,” signs strewn by the roadsides, serving as homeless shelters for those living under the freeways. There was a time, for a long time, in which many voices warned that Hawaii could not continue sliding down the slippery slope of every self-serving special interest group caring only for its own -- thinking the larger community, the federal monies, and even the rich people all around their world, would continue to support their inability to take care of themselves, since they now had aspiring countries like Iraq and Afghanistan insisting they could handle governing themselves.

Thus the people of Hawaii now had to compete in the world for the money enabling those who felt they were ready for “democracy” and self-government, and would not make too much of a mess with their sectarian and ethnic cleansing struggles.

But one by one, the airlines stopped delivering people to this tourist destination -- and people everywhere recognized there were just better vacation deals elsewhere. Hawaii had priced itself out of the market -- and so the competing dollars were now free to look elsewhere. Once you develop a reputation for being a “bad value,” that perception lasts a long time but slowly recovers when the bottom has fallen out and the community that formerly took their prosperity and easy success for granted, now comes to appreciate every scrap tossed their way.

Many places in the Caribbean are also tropical paradises -- with notoriously bad governments, so that virtually everybody but the people in government, are destitute. So warm weather and trusting souls, don’t necessarily ensure a paradise. Things can get really bad -- without the weather changing very much.

So, really, what is very important, is for a community to feel that they are all truly in their predicament together, and not as in these banana republics, that the poor people really want a few privileged and entitled people to "have it all."

Most of these fairly unjust societies proliferate in warm climates -- in which these injustices are less noticeable because nobody is left out in the cold. In fact, many are so enervated, that they may lie all day in the hot sun -- to stay warm, oblivious to other longer range health risks.

People in distress, are not mindful of these differences anymore; they long ago ceased caring.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Lucky live the Mainland!

One of the reasons for taking a vacation and going somewhere else, is to better appreciate what you have when you get back home -- and can more properly value the reality of "low everyday prices" on the routine necessities of life.

A lot of people in Hawaii take for granted that the reason tourism became popular again in these last few years was that because of President Bush's "War On Terrorism," people could once again feel safe to get on an airplane without the fear of being hijacked or blown up -- which greatly revived the travel industry, so much so that fuel consumption grew inordinately rapidly, as well as development in the "undeveloped" parts of the world.

All those "improvements" bring us to our current crisis in these times -- of overdevelopment and too rapid change for many to absorb and adjust to. So we're entering a "consolidation" phase in which there is relatively little further growth until we catch up psychologically and learn to appreciate and value all we have.

A large part of today's problem is that many now believe they are "entitled" to be rich, famous and irresistibly attractive, rather than that those things are hard-won in every life and generation, and one shouldn't just expect and demand them as our contemporary entitlements.

Yes, we're probably not all going to be able to retire and take as many trips around the world as we want, eating all the food we want, buying all the cars and gas we want, speculating on real estate to finance the lives we feel we are "entitled" to now just because we can "vote," as though that and writing letter to the editors of newspapers complaining about how everybody else should be doing everything for us so that we don't have to do anything for ourselves, is probably over, as it was just an illusion by demagogues to get their votes.

Now the hard work begins again in which each individual by their wise choices, distinguishes themselves from the easy money delusions that they are worldly wise because they think they know how to get something for nothing -- because our congresspeople can get all the pork barrel projects and earmarks so that bureaucrats in Hawaii just need to stand around looking busy and important -- while nothing continues to get done.

But it's a free country and free world, if that's the way they want it.