Editor’s Page: Lessons From a Kindergartener
Even small gestures can make a big difference.
’ll admit it. The turmoil of the past 18 months has often left me, well, cranky. At one point in 2020, I believe I threatened dire punishment if anyone on the HONOLULU team dared to use the word “pivot.” Yet, since I was able to keep to my tiny work and family “bubbles”—another tiring word I cut out of stories last year—I know I was spared the worst. Friends and family working in medicine, education, retail and especially hospitality have given me glimpses into the collective frustration they deal with every day. It’s been tough for all of us, even worse for them.
Then, recently, I was rushing through a parking lot with my 5-year-old, my mind racing through the next few days ahead, when she suddenly stopped and pointed at a fast food drink cup, flattened against the asphalt. “We should pick it up,” she said. “I don’t have a garbage bag,” I told her dismissively. She considered me, through narrowed eyes, and said “We should always have one.” She walked over, scooped it up, and carried it all the way home. She’s right. I could have done better.
That idea is what drives our cover story this month. Amid a time when a lot of us are still ricocheting between discouraging lows and inspiring highs in the human spirit, doing small things that can help one person, one place, one community, can be empowering. Editor at large Robbie Dingeman spent time with people in diverse jobs for advice on becoming better caretakers of culture and natural caretakers, guests, hikers, voters, swimmers and more. Many suggestions are simple. The cumulative impact on our community could be significant. And as you start, remember one more thought from a local kindergartener: Carry an extra trash bag. I know I will.
Got a good story? Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read all of these stories in the October issue of HONOLULU Magazine. Available on newsstands in October, or purchase the issue at shop.honolulumagazine.com. Subscribe to the print and digital editions now.