𝐈 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐰 𝐮𝐩 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐱 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐇𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐢𝐢𝐚𝐧
When my grandfather was in elementary he was punished in front of the class for speaking Hawaiian. He said, "You know, back then, being Hawaiian was shame, ya.” Luckily, he was a strong man who never gave into that way of thinking. He instilled in me the strengths of what it meant to be Native Hawaiian. We were innovators, warriors, farmers, healers, and connected to nature
My ohana worked hard on pulling me out of the inferiority complex, but society painted a different picture for me.
Hawaiian men were over-represented in issues around child abuse, domestic violence, and drug abuse. They over populated the prisons and made up the majority of the lower socioeconomic status in Hawaii
The book KŪ KANAKA by George H.S. Kanahele mentioned:
𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘰 𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘚𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘢 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧. 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘨𝘰, 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘏𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘪𝘪𝘢𝘯…𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘻𝘺, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯…𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘏𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘪𝘪.
After giving a presentation, a teacher kept me at the front of the class and announced how proud she was of me. In her words, “it takes a lot for Mr. Aipa to speak in front of the class from where he comes from.” Her words, with no intention, only solidified my difference of what society thought of what it meant to be Native Hawaiian in my young mind
So how did I overcome this Inferiority Complex?
𝐔𝐚 𝐨𝐥𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐤𝐨 𝐢 𝐤𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐡𝐚.
Love is imperative to one's mental and physical welfare
𝐈 𝐤𝐚 '𝐨𝐥𝐞𝐥𝐨 𝐧𝐨 𝐤𝐞 𝐨𝐥𝐚, 𝐢 𝐤𝐚 '𝐨𝐥𝐞𝐥𝐨 𝐧𝐨 𝐤𝐚 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞
Words can heal; words can destroy
I realized, that it wasn’t what others spoke of you or thought of you
What mattered most was what you thought of yourself and the words you spoke
𝐈 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐘𝐎𝐔