Just want to throw a few thoughts out there in regards to the concerns of the beautiful island that has been my home since birth, Guam, or Guahan. First, I am grateful to those who continue to read up on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and related documents, and stay on top of important issues affecting our island and people.
I have to say that for me, getting dizzy in all the politics and policies wasn’t serving me very well.
For me personally, the “right” course of action in order for me to take responsibility for my own life & values was this: Create from where I am.
I have two small children. I want them to learn as much as possible about the world through the light of solutions. Focusing on creating. Sometimes it is too difficult/confusing/chaotic to try to understand something so tangled, and people might feel a bit overwhelmed by that idea (which I’m guessing is why so many of us are ignorant about the complex factors involved in this whole dynamic between the government of Guam, the people of Guam, and the U.S. military. Not to mention the role of other countries like Japan.
It can be overwhelming to consider especially when there are so many contradicting viewpoints. This is a diverse island for sure!
So for those trying to clarify their own roles in all of this…create from where you are. What do you truly envision for this island? Keep envisioning, and begin creating!
I now home-school my boys so that they can learn what is in alignment with our values. We value diversity & culture, so we socialize with a lot of different kinds of people, and we talk about the different lifestyles and choices that people make, and not out of judgment, but just in observation, and in deciding if we want that for ourselves or not.
We value the land and the water and the sky, so we spend as much time outdoors as possible. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. We sometimes learn about the native plants of Guam. We value learning within the community, so we go to local workshops, festivals, etc. We value quality food, so we seek it out, and are in progress with creating/growing our own. We talk to other people who are doing this. We share. We value clean air, so we look for solutions to the “big black smoke” that plagues our roads following behind big outdated buses & trucks. Other places have found solutions, we can too.
We value awareness, so we learn about the basics of political relationships and dynamics between our local leaders, as well as larger dynamics between countries. We have so much to learn!
We value financial security, so instead of relying on an unstable government to “create jobs”, we create our own jobs! I created my own business by identifying my own strengths and what services I can provide for our community. I asked myself, “How can I share my gifts and sustain my family’s needs?” and I am teaching my children to ask themselves the same. They are learning what it takes to create your own life, your own security, your own prosperity, while appreciating what we have now.
We would not be so fearful of a failing educational system if we were truly interested in facilitating our children’s natural curiosity about life & learning.
In regards to the economy, beside what I mentioned about creating my own economy, I’d like to mention that I have been on food stamps and welfare. I appreciate the system, and am extremely thankful for being able to utilize it. Of course, I do ask myself what is being done to prevent people like me from needing to receive SNAP benefits in the first place. I have always looked for ways/solutions to moving away from the system and being financially independent. I know this is the part that usually upsets people, imagining all the people who want to live on the system and do no more. There are definitely people who use and abuse the system, we can’t deny that. What changes can be made to entice people to become independent from SNAP? What if we created a local produce food voucher system much like WIC does? What if we talked about more positive solutions to help people become financially independent and to have enough food to feed their families? What if we created more food coops? What if we have community gardens, you put in your time to the garden, you get your weekly produce for example.
So while we are hashing out the uber-complex details and umpteen factors involved in life on Guam, let’s begin CREATING WHAT WE TRULY WANT. Right now, with what we have, where we are.
Thank you to those who are standing up to protect our environment, our wellbeing. Before we decide whether or not we even want Guam to be independent, or freely-associated, lets practice BEING the solutions we crave. Let’s support ourselves and our communities by growing food together, by learning about our land, our sea, our natural ways of healing ourselves. Let’s look at our gifts and create our own economies. Let’s be peaceful and inclusive, and yet let us also stand in confidence & protect what we love. Let us celebrate diversity and look for solutions that support us all. Let’s take 100% responsibility for our lives and begin creating what we truly want, right now.
SO, what are YOU creating?
Special Thanks to Jared Catahay, for beautiful photos of our beautiful island.