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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 17, 2009

Contributing is our key responsibility

By Graham Hawes

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Graham Hawes

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Now, as always, it is important that Hawai'i's communities stand together to confront critical issues. Without cooperation, we can never hope to resolve major issues like crime, unemployment, homelessness or the slumping economy and tourism industry.

Civic engagement - the act of confronting society's problems, either alone or alongside others — will prove essential in our fight to make life better for all of Hawai'i's residents. Civic engagement comes in as many forms as you can imagine, and it is the moral duty of Hawai'i's citizens to contribute in some way. Luckily, civic engagement doesn't have to be as involved as a blood drive, or as complicated as raising money for a charity. Heroic sacrifice is not a requirement for helping Hawai'i!

One way to better your community is by doing something that all Hawaiians are familiar with: talking. Make an effort to inform yourself so that you can inform others of important issues, and discuss those issues with others. Try not to bludgeon people with bias — let them make up their own minds.

Without a lively public debate or dialog, how can we expect to fix anything? I will continue to try to get people thinking. What will you do?

Graham Hawes | Grade 12, Homeschool