People have asked me about the kaona behind our campaign motto, Ho'i I Ka Piko, defined as "return to the source." It's easiest explained in relation to a popular saying by the sporting line, RVCA, "the balance between opposites."
You see, for the last 17 years, I've been dedicated to positive socio-economic growth within our community through shifting fixed mindsets. After leaving Leadership Kauai almost 5 years ago, I revamped my company, Kauai Team Challenge Inc. to represent it's expanded services focused on leadership development facilitation to affect systemic change. I renamed our company, Kupu A'e, "to unfold towards the light". Our logo is the koru or fiddle head, a popular symbol in native art. It represents the continuous positive growth of the individual, our associations and our community.
As I reflected on my first few months in office and my run in this election, a clear message came to me. What's often lacking in this environment is our ability to see clearly what is most important as humans, our role on earth and our ability to effectively live by our most precious values. How can we act on what's most important when we are blinded by so many distractions and details?
What can we all agree is most important? Is it the future of our children, the place they will inherent, their health? Or, is it material wealth, the house, car, job and stuff? Or, is it aloha, kuleana, lokahi, pa'ahana, ho'ihi, a'o mai, waiwai, and laulima? Before we are to commit to the path of life-long continuous growth and do the bidding of our people, we must first remember who we are and where we come from. Our piko, is our source of life while in the womb of our mother. It also represents our connection to spirit. Ho'i I Ka Piko is the opposite of unfolding towards the light as we must never forget our source (who we are and what is most important). The olelo noeau, I Ka Wa Ma Mua, Ka Wa Ma Hope speaks to how we must not forget the lessons of our past in order to move forward into the future. We take the best of who we are to affect the future we all want. Let's not forget what makes us special here on earth so that we can unfold towards higher consciousness. I want to represent this balance of opposites for the future we all deserve. Please remember Mason Chock on November 4th.
I wrote this back in 2008 for a column in The Garden Island and reread it today. I think it's still valid and thought it worth sharing once again. Much of it applies to this 2014 campaign and what it stands for.
Leadership is a misunderstood concept. In Hawai`i and on our island, many believe that leadership is reserved for the select few, for those running for office or making decisions at a corporate level. It has held negative stereotypes within our “no-make-waves” community. However, in recent years a slumbering sleeping giant has awakened. Frustration has raised emotional cries about over-development, rising socio-economic problems and other needs. Are we responding correctly, with the patience and humbleness that embraces Kaua`i Aloha? Incorporating leadership behaviors into our response will enable us, as a community, to forge positive pathways out of our problems, and into a broader, stronger community.
Leadership is very similar to our Hawaiian value, kuleana, the source of self-empowerment and social responsibility. Every individual must take as their kuleana to practice leadership in every situation. I long for the day when our people embrace every aspect of leadership as an integral way of life, when we stop demanding that our system deliver answers and we instead become part of the solutions to produce a thriving community. Our Hawaiian ancestors understood the concept of wahi (stewardship) as the foundation of their existence, integrating their livelihood into the natural gifts around them, creating a symbiotic relationship that fostered social responsibility and took everyone and every living thing into account. We still have a lot to learn from our ancestors.
We need to stop believing that solutions will come from the few at the head of our county, state or country. Instead, in order to reach our goals as a human race, we require self-driven, socially responsible leaders who accept kuleana as a personal value and practice … and each of us can be that kind of leader. We need to instill this value of leadership into the souls of our youth at a young age in order to build the strong foundations that will keep them self-reliant.
You see, it doesn't matter what nation or system of government or belief system we live in. What matters is that we, each one of us, positively affect the outcomes of our own lives and the means by which we live them.
Leadership is not for the privileged few, not reserved for the ego-based power monger, but is intended for every single person on this planet. The sooner we take individual responsibility for our choices and actions, the sooner collective responsibility will grow. Then we can all share in a vision that will benefit all societies, all people.
We need to take back the power of choice in our daily lives that we have given up, take it back from those who would sway our decisions with marketing schemes and commercialization. The concept of leadership must drive our every conscious decision, and we must take full responsibility for our actions.
How do we know what a "good" choice is? We sometimes don't.... In fact, the first challenge of leadership is to get past the fear of making mistakes. We need to understand that we may make bad choices. But, if we stay conscious, those errors will become lessons that take us closer to our source of knowledge and inspiration.
The year 2009 will bring many new beginnings for our world, country, state, island and our families. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity.
By Mason Chock
I find that sharing viewpoints on a blog is difficult because of the complexity of each issue being discussed and the potential loss of objectivity that can occur through anonymous comments which often lead to online bashing. I am an advocate of face to face interactions where clarity has a greater opportunity to thrive. However, I've put a blog together to offer a venue to share and discuss the many important points of view on issues because I believe it is an important medium to begin dialogue on our most pressing issues facing us today and in the future. I will reserve the right to eliminate negative comments that do not bring us to increased understanding and clarity with aloha.