Note: I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my brother and his family moved back to Hawaii after living away for 15 years. This is their thoughts about moving home & being back in paradise.
Embarrassing? Nah… ENDEARING!
Visitors to the islands may recognize “small town” or “homespun” nuances sprinkled around our community. These can come in many forms – misspelled signs at local
restaurants or local community events clearly lacking professional oversight. Your initial
reaction might be, “How embarrassing!!” and my quick response would be – “You’re
wrong… HOW ENDEARING!!”
Having recently returned to Maui after 15 years of living away, I’ve grown to miss the
small reminders of a tight-knit family community that abound in the islands. My first
month back in Hawaii had 2 specifically impactful reminders. The first was a benefit
dinner for a local political hopeful – clearly a family affair and not the professional,
dignified event that one would otherwise expect. However, while it lacked glitz and
glamour, it was 100% genuine and straight from the heart.
The second was the Lanai half marathon one of our close friends ran. The 5K and 10K
had a fair number of entrants but the half marathon had only 16 runners… a pawltry
comparison to the thousands of people I’ve lined up with in Utah Races.
Some might think that it was embarrassing for the race coordinators and others may think that we
aspire to have a “big-time” production like those in the mainland. To that I answer…
ABSOLUTELY NOT! That’s one of the defining characteristics of Hawaii and the
Hawaiian people to me. We’re not so much concerned with outward appearances as we
are with the underlying substance. So the next time you visit and run across a misspelled
sign or watch a basketball game in a high school gym that appears to be held together by
rust just remember… we wouldn’t have it any other way.