The words of JoAnn Yukimura of the Kauai County Council on the battle over Bill 2491 should be heeded.
This is a divisive issue for Kauai, perhaps like none other. The reason it has become divisive is because it is important. People care. Both sides are passionate. Both sides have expressed strong beliefs. For both sides, the future of Kauai is at stake.
Such is the split that some community members have declined to share an opinion on the matter for fear it will alienate them with whichever side they oppose.
Some have taken a stand and are rallying others to join them.
At TGI, we have received many letters and guest commentaries on Bill 2491. We publish as many as we can, as timely as we can. We thank you for sharing them with us.
The only request we have is that you please show respect for those you oppose, for those with another point of view, or for those who are doing things you believe are wrong. It’s fine to disagree with someone and explain why you disagree with them. It’s not fine to disagree with someone, and in turn, toss insults and accusations their way. It’s the old adage: treat others as you would have them treat you.
In her guest commentary published in TGI Wednesday, Yukimura said it so well. We’ll repeat it here.
How we treat, speak to, respect those with whom we disagree, how we work with each other, and whether we can live aloha throughout this process will determine whether we can reach our vision as a community. We cannot reach it by discarding or railroading our neighbor. At the same time, we must not be afraid to take a stand. The secret is to keep an open mind and heart.
The real and lasting solutions can only come out of our relationships with each other — relationships of respect, honesty, and clear and humble communication. It will be hard work because we are pioneering.
I know we can do it.