'Iokepa and I have been gratified by the considerable response to the "Add Your Voice to the Cry for Freedom" essay that precedes this one on this page. From just one of our supporters in faraway Virginia: "My eyes were filled with tears as I read the Ever Changing Page account of 'Iokepa at the hearings. It surely feels as if the tide is starting to turn. What an amazing and intense time. I was picturing and feeling 'Iokepa... broadcasting out from within as he stood before the Hawaiians gathered at the hearing. How empowering. It is really happening. It touches a cry deep place within me. I am looking forward to watching this all unfold. The U.S. government is facing way more than they realize. The light is overcoming the dark."
But here at home on Kaua'i, over a breakfast with a devoted friend and writer, we heard a slightly different message.
"I read the essay, and I found that I wanted more; I wanted it now. It's very American of me. Here was the narrative I yearned for: 'One person steps up at that hearing - and he saves them!' We've been programed with this ever since the bible. It happens every time; a hero steps up and..."
I listened, and I realized that I, too, yearned for what our friend expressed. Even as I wrote that last essay, I wanted to be able to say that the crowd roared its approval (it did!), and the world around us changed!
Over breakfast, 'Iokepa laughed at our words. He asked us: "Do you know why there are drive-up windows at McDonald's? We want it now.
"It was not up to me to stand up and make claims. My ancestors did not allow me to speak many of the words that will need to be spoken. Always, I await their guidance. It is not about pushing the agenda. Your either surrender or you do not. I find this is all very exciting.
"And by the way...that narrative you describe in the bible...it was written hundreds of years after the events took place."