Among other items discussed at our most recent meeting of the Kauai Board of Realtors officers and committee chairs, there was mention of one subject which captured my attention. Though it was only touched upon briefly, this subject has stayed with me since that day. To the last person, we all agreed this subject is one of great importance to our community, possibly the greatest importance of any subject we discussed throughout the day.
It’s not the first time I’ve been part of a discussion where this particular subject has arisen. I’ve heard it mentioned many times over, since my table waiting Westin days back in the ’80s, but this time it “stuck” with me. This time I realized I am now in a position to actually help make a difference. This time, those of us sitting in the room could actually give to our community in an effort to change the tone of this subject forever.
What subject, you may ask, was so compelling that it made an impact on me? What subject rose above our important discourse concerning governmental affairs, cow crap in Mahaulepu, rental property laws, and the ever-present focus on ethics and how we Realtors should strive to be pono within our community?
What subject could a group of real estate professionals truly lend their expertise toward that can and will create positive change on Kauai? What subject have I heard about for the better part of 30 years that we Realtors can actually contribute positive advice toward, in an effort to make our community a better place than it is at this moment in time?
The subject, Kauai, is our youth. Nothing else is so important. Nothing. Our future leaders, our future protectors of this aina we all love so very much. Nothing is so important that we overlook the needs, nurturing, protection and guidance of those who follow us. Nothing.
Two great events touched me beyond any others in 2014. One was a key presentation ceremony where Habitat for Humanity handed over keys to a deserving Kauai ohana. The other was the day I was privileged to represent my peers in giving scholarships to 12 deserving high school graduates as they prepared to leave our island and attend colleges and universities around the nation. Today, I wonder how many of those bright young Kauai keiki will be able to come home to the place their hearts were molded, this very unique and special place, home. I want to help them come back and be our future.
Our kids need houses. May I suggest we all start empowering our Kauai keiki by teaching them the fundamentals of home ownership. Knowledge is power. Knowledge will dissipate the historic fear associated with the present thinking: “I can never own a home here. It’s too expensive.” Knowledge will begin laying a path to the front door of homes for our future leaders — our leaders who are going off to college today.
Please, ask your favorite Realtor for advice, for guidance, for knowledge. We are part of this incredible community, Kauai, and we want to contribute to a positive future. We want to empower our keiki by giving them the tools necessary to make home ownership a reality for their future on Kauai. I wish my own parents had taken the time to instill me with that hope. Let’s all hui up and make certain we don’t leave Kauai’s children wishing the same.
Chairman of public relations
Kauai Board of Realtors