On Building Community

Communities are made up of Families (And individuals who essentially come from families).


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am so grateful for this community we’re building together.  I hope you find in this community a group of people who are proud of who they are and supportive of others in learning and sharing about where they come from.


Who could have guessed that creating Native Hawaiian art and fabrics would bring so many people together? We have a common goal of perpetuating awareness of Hawaiian history and preserving Hawaiian culture - beautiful reasons to find each other and support one another in so many different ways. I'm grateful for this opportunity to get to know each other.


Community is super important. Whether we find each other online like this one, or organize in a way that makes up our islands and cities, communities are safe places of belonging where we celebrate our common values and traditions; we practice social skills, contribute and support one another. The more we participate the more we benefit. 


What comes to your mind when you think of “community”? Gathering to watch sports games? Celebrating at carnivals and fairs? Learning together at schools?


If our islands and cities are made up of our communities, then what are our communities made up of? Families. (And individuals who essentially come from families). Families are the very first “communities” we belong to. 


It’s where (ideally) we learn to communicate, feel safe, share common values and contribute to something greater than ourselves.


Our experiences are different, but I think we can all agree on the importance of family and that thriving communities don’t just pop up out of nowhere. 


I am teaching my children to appreciate their heritage by speaking Hawaiian; to take care of each other by encouraging them to solve problems together; to contribute to the family by picking up their own toys and cleaning up their messes; to learn and explore their interests by coloring, dancing around the house, and kicking around soccer balls; to work hard by showing them through example.


Can you see how the little things we value in our families can become big contributions in our communities?


All of our families do things very very differently; we speak different languages, have different hobbies and interests, we may worship differently and have different values. Our experiences enrich our communities when we come together for common purposes with respect and acceptance, focusing on our commonalities and not our differences.


We have fun together when we cheer on High School football teams and gather at community carnivals. We contribute when we clean up the beaches and roadsides. We play sports and music to explore our interests. We support one another at farmers markets and craft fairs. We look out for each other when we fundraise for struggling families and serve our neighbors in times of need. 


Communities and belonging are really important to our experiences in life, and thriving communities start in our families and with our children. I hope that we will use our talents and experiences to bless our families and participate in our communities. 


I’d love to hear your thoughts… What are you doing in your families that will strengthen your community? How has your upbringing prepared you to contribute to your community? 

Here's a star chart I've been using with my kids lately. They enjoy coloring in the stars at the end of the day as we talk about the did throughout the day. Choose 6 things that are star worthy for your keiki to do each day and if they do those things they can color in their stars. If they get 20/30 stars then you can treat them to something they would like. I count the week from M-F and Saturday is the day for the prize. 

 

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