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  • By Aline Yamashita

Wrong and unsettling

Our island community has been hit with a tidal wave of unsettling situations.

When people in position are accused of wrongdoing, we get uncomfortable. We get uncomfortable because there are certain beliefs we want to hang onto. One of those beliefs is that the ones we should be able to trust the most are trustworthy.

We want their decisions to be near impeccable. We want to believe that we are safe with them at the helm. We want them to be just about super human. But, they are not. They are just as human as you and me.

Sometimes they make mistakes – bad mistakes. Sometimes, they find themselves in situations that are exaggerated and sometimes, fabricated. Between the time allegations surface and the truth is founded, lots of confusion, anger, uncertainty bubble. Even as investigations are made and decisions are determined, that confusion, anger and discomfort may continue to boil.

How do we cope? Well, there are a variety of ways to address the emotional upheaval.

A few groups have sprouted that actively protest. They provide a trusting venue for others to walk with them. The bonding that develops helps them make it through the mud and molasses.

Processes are watched. For those situations, where there are no visible processes, unresolved questions linger. Until those questions are aired and addressed, the degree of trust will continue to dissipate. This is normal is any situation. When a couple disagrees and tries to ignore the issue, they shouldn’t be surprised when it erupts and in ways, they didn’t expect.

Unanswered questions should not be ignored. Especially when the truth can have a domino effect, it’s best to address and deal with possible consequences. This is magnified especially when the law and/or regulations require investigations. Such investigations should apply to all positions.

When processes are carried out and outcomes aren’t to our satisfaction, a couple of thoughts come to mind. Did we do our job in voicing our perspectives? If not, why not?

If we don’t want to engage, then we cannot complain.

Particularly when it comes to jury duty. Voter rosters serve as jury duty pools. When people share they don’t vote because they are avoiding jury duty, I shake my head. It is essential that juries are composed of peers. It is a strength of our judicial system. Just as people decide elected leadership, people render verdicts.

Prevention of unfortunate situations is always preferred. Follow the rules. Be honest.

Be transparent.

The vast prevalence of substance abuse is blaring alarms. The basic questions of belonging, self esteem, self confidence, stress management, counseling, behavioral wellness – all have to be reviewed. The strategic plans to help individuals do better in these areas need to be updated and prioritized.

Yes, those near the top are human but please know that as positions heighten so do expectations. It comes with the territory. Sadly, on our island, there are many in this territory. Like everything else though, nothing is impossible and we will move on – with renewed faith, hope, and love for our island.

Aline Yamashita is an educator and former senator. Send feedback to aline4families@

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