Editor’s Note: Reflections

Written by Alena Auyoung, HCJ Executive Vice PresidentAlena Auyoung, Executive VP

Can you believe that it’s July already? We’re in the full swing of summer affairs, and our chapter has been active in the community, serving and socializing this season! In the midst of the wonderful frenzy, however, I couldn’t help but take time to reflect on the significance of this month for our state and nation.

We’re in our 29th month, give or take, of COVID, and while we embrace successful mandates and re-openings, this virus still keeps us on our toes with its variants and unpredictability. Also, this month is typically looked forward to for fireworks, barbeques, and jubilee of our nation’s birthday, but it’s dampened by significant moments, such as Hawaiʻi’s transition to join the United States after the kingdom’s overthrow in 1893. During this year’s July 4th holiday, we watched the news with horror as the Highland Park shooting unfolded. In 2022, so far, we’re experiencing increased costs on just about everything. There’s a baby formula shortage. The Ukraine-Russia battle keeps
going. The Supreme Court’s rulings have been unprecedented. For me, July 4th this year was a day of contemplation about what we’ve gone through, what’s going on now, and how we can move forward as Hawaiʻi residents and American citizens.

As a chapter, we care about big and small things in the lives of our members and supporters. We recognize that the weight of major events can cause undue stress, frustration, and reaction. During a time when division seems to prevail and voices clash, it becomes more important than ever to unify. I absolutely believe in unity despite differences, because more than just our feelings and thoughts, we are human. We are resilient, we are motivated by love and truth, and we are powerful when we band together against injustice.

I can say from personal experience that HCJ has been exemplary in being action-oriented and supportive for the sake of keeping its members unified during trying times. Deep considerations are made by the chapter to ensure that events and meetings are open, our people are well accommodated, and the community benefits from our presence and involvement. HCJ is a haven for people who need more humanity than headlines in their lives. The work of this chapter is a constant reminder that “good” exists in this state, nation, and world. I wouldn’t have gotten through some trials during the past two years without the chapter, rallying me to keep going and providing me opportunities to thrive. I hope that many of you have been touched by HCJ as meaningfully as I have been. On behalf of the chapter, I want to thank you for continuing to come out to our events, pursuing new connections and rekindling old ones, and challenging each other to be better. We’ll never rest on the laurels of our progress and success, because we know that there are so many needs to try to fill, so we’ll never stop working to reach out, serve, and unite.