God didn't give man wings; He gave him the brains and the spirit to give himself wings. Just as He gave us the capacity to laugh when we hurt, or to struggle on when we feel like giving up. I've come to believe that how we choose to live with pain, or injustice, or death...is the true measure of the Divine within us.
Hawai'i has often been called a melting pot, but I think of it more as a 'mixed plate'---a scoop of rice with gravy, a scoop of macaroni salad, a piece of mahi-mahi, and a side of kimchi. Many different tastes share the plate, but none of them lose their individual flavor, and together they make up a uniquely 'local' cuisine. This is also, I believe, what America is at its best---a whole greater than the sum of it's parts.
Hawai'i is not truly the idyllic paradise of popular songs--islands of love and tranquility, where nothing bad ever happens. It was and is a place where people work and struggle, live and die, as they do the world over.