By Virginia Beck

Three hula dancers hold hands in Ken Shutt’s sculpture in front of Kauaʻi Community College Performing Arts Center.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” So begins “A tale of two cities,” in which you see the best and worst of human character, as people face hard times. We decide what we will make of the challenges our island faces now. And who we will be for our families.

The community is what I love most about Kaua‘i. Of course I love the island, the plants, the spectacular mountains, the ocean. But that isn’t why I moved here in 1971. I was still looking for home after arriving in Honolulu in 1966. UH seemed so BIG to me, bustling and busy. I came here, hoping for home. Finally.

A place where people valued relationships over objects, more interested in supporting each other than competing with each other. Where we get stronger together in tough times.

We young people were all poor together, and those of us who worked in the community soon came to value the generosity and the aloha spirit of our neighbors and work ‘ohana. They taught us so much. Not just the plants, the fish, food and the ocean currents, but how to grow in generosity and good natured humor. To get silly and talk story, instead of getting frustrated and angry. To ask for help with humility and respect. To honor different ways of thinking, about everything.

I love this relationship-based society. A place where we each know our actions may have strong impacts on everyone. Like a stone dropped in a pond, it makes waves.

We are Kaua‘i strong. Together we can accomplish so much and give back to our community through cherishing health and not spreading illness. Honor the mayor’s thoughtful management. Be patient with others and yourself.

Staying at home is hard when many people are forced to live together by the economy. Many of us are not able to work. We have to learn to leave each other alone sometimes. We have to bite our tongues not to get snappy. We are all on edge, as this is a scary time and we don’t understand the risks. It is all uncertain. Life is not under our control. It never was, but we thought we controlled a few things (like our toilet paper supply). Things we took for granted, are now seen as precious and not so easily obtained.

But the most important things are free, everywhere. Respect others, sharing, kindness, forgiveness, ho‘oponopono, and sometimes the belief in “as God wills.” Smiles cure many illnesses. Laughter lightens the burdens of stress.

Even if we stay at home, we can visit online, shop for groceries for others, taking turns. If fewer of us shop at one time, the stores and roads will be less crowded. We won’t have to waste gas, now that money is tight.

Virginia Beck

Grow health gardens and share with neighbors, even more than you already do. Invite the elderly who are able to walk to come out in their driveways, and bang pots and pans, so we can see you are still alive. It might be a neighborhood orchestra. Check in on shut-ins.

Thank God for the Internet, for post offices, and all the delivery people of every kind. For our mayor, county council and county employees working hard to protect us. The state Health Department, the Kaua‘i Police Department, and the garbage pickups.

And most of all, warm Mahalo to all our health care providers and hospital employees throughout the island.

Aloha makes us great!

  • Virginia Beck, NP and Certified Trager® Practitioner, offers Wellness Consultation, Trager Psychophysical Integration and teaches Malama Birth Training classes. She can be reached at 635-5618.




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