We are Voyagers
by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmers Daughter, December 8, 2016
This past weekend, my kids all recovered from their colds so I decided to do something fun with them. We decided to take a break from Christmas shopping and see Moana. It was nice to sit in the dark away from the overstimulation of the mall and have my toddler son stay still for at least an hour.
Even though Moana is a kids’ movie, I was really touched by the story and music. One song in particular really struck a chord in me.
As I listened to the lyrics, I heard a very powerful message in it. On the surface we see the characters taking a journey on a canoe seeking a new life and a parent teaching his child that same skill. They know their history and use it to guide their future. Moana may be a Disney flick, that message really resonated with me.
We are always striving to do things better than before. We have that drive in us to follow that path. From my great great grandparents leaving the comforts of Japan and China, they took a voyage that would forever change the future of their family. So many other families took the same journey over a hundred years ago. For the Hawaiian people, they took that journey over many centuries. It was in our blood to find a better future and it didn’t matter what our ethnicity is. That is our history and story that guides us for the future.
No longer do we have jump into the ocean to set sail for a better life. We can take a different kind of voyage right now in our present lives.
For me, my voyage and journey is to create a better future for my children. I’m using my voice on this vast digital ocean to help build that future. I know my history of where my roots lay and where I want to see my tree to grow towards. I come from very humble beginnings and through hard work, my family built their lives up so that the future will be prepared. For that, I am deeply grateful for what they sacrificed for me. It’s my duty to honor their legacy and pass on those same lessons to my children so that they will know where they came from.
It is by knowing our past and history that will help keep us on track for creating that future. Getting astray on hobby activism that really doesn’t solve an issue won’t guide a people forward. Instead, it knocks them off from the real goal. The focus on protesting this and that isn’t going to build that better path since it only acts as a temporary emotional release. We need more than protest after protest to create the future. Our own ancestors knew that.
From the song, these words ring true:
We are explorers reading every sign.
We tell the stories of our elders in a never ending chain.
It is in us to push the boundaries and challenge ourselves. Whether it be pushing for scientific discovery in genetics to the looking at the universe to find the answer, we are the explorers of our world and it’s in our nature to be that way. The old ways are always in us as we go on that journey for the future and that will serve as our guide.