The Maui Disaster Can Be a Catalyst for Change, for Unity and Sense of Connectedness for Our Country

When you listen to interviews of survivors from the Maui wildfires, you hear two common themes: one that they are grateful to be alive; and second, they are thankful for their family’s safety. Survivors who had lost everything, their home and possessions, say, at least they have the most important thing – each other.

Often it takes tragedy to put things into perspective. We’ve heard how during and after the COVID-19 pandemic’s critical period, before the vaccines when people were dying, many would say the same thing – that they found renewed value in spending more time with family; and that family was what they really valued most in life.

As the entire nation watched highlights of the apocalyptic images of Lahaiana and people’s determination to live, images of people jumping into the ocean with their families, hugging and holding on to each other as they watched the blaze consume their town, it is our hope that these piercing images moves our nation in a profound way.

That we are able to find greater value in life and each other.

When people are killing each other from road rage. We know there’s sickness in our society. When we turn our backs on the most vulnerable, see their suffering, but do nothing about it. Or worse yet, despise them, seeing only their condition, but not their humanity. We know there’s sickness in our society.

The killings, the lack of empathy – these are all related to our sense of disconnection from each other. Otherwise, how else could we justify causing harm to someone if we felt connected to them.

Amid the aftermath of Hawaii’s worst natural disaster in history, the community of Maui will need healing. But the reality is all of our fragmented, divided communities in our nation need healing.

We know deep down that we are in fact connected and interdependent on each other. We are by our nature as human beings empathetic. How do we know this? Because when tragedy strikes like the devastation in Maui, we are moved and overwhelmed with emotion. We shed tears for complete strangers.

Where there is empathy, there is hope for a better world.

The rest of the nation can learn a lot from Hawaii and our Aloha. The nation is witnessing community power in action as pop-up donation drives are happening throughout the state. Remarkably, humanitarian outreach to aid Maui has been coming from all over the world where former Hawaii residents have moved to. And the tens of thousands of visitors to Hawaii – people who’ve experienced the Aloha spirit – are also responding with charitable donations.

When we look at our unity in this state, how we’re coming together to offer aid – this is reassuring that Lahaina will rise again and the communities in Maui will be back, strong and thriving.

It will take time, perhaps decades. But we have our Aloha spirit. That will not be swept up by a hurricane or burnt to ashes by any fire.

We hope that this awful tragedy will be a catalyst for healing in Hawaii and the rest of our nation. We hope that our division, our hatred, will be overcome with love, a sense of connectedness and community.

God bless the people of Maui, Hawaii and our nation.

Aloha and Mabuhay!

About Author

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.