Making things right to make things happen isn’t just a nice slogan. If we are truthful and act accordingly, if we value the public trust, if we govern with people. if we are strong yet compassionate, if we take special care of our children, if we look to all of our futures, then we can more than meet the challenges we face today and tomorrow.
It’s about transforming values into action — as the late Ron Bright did as a beloved teacher in the performing arts program at Castle High School. His total commitment to the affirmation of life must continue to guide us. We need only watch the news on TV to see examples of man’s inhumanity to man, triggered by the fear of differences – racial, religious, national. There are, of course, real dangers in the world that must be squarely met. But it is also true that the world is becoming a smaller place. These conditions call less for fear and hostility and more for the unyielding affirmation of our diversity.
We have found a way in these islands — anchored by a remarkable host culture and the enriching waves of immigration from East and West — to value and venerate who we are. Many and yet one. The transcendent call from our island state to the world is that when we demean others we betray ourselves. There is a finer, better way. Pledge to it, make it real every day and lead the way. Mahalo, and I look forward to the work ahead.