There's an older radio sounder from the late 1990s or early 2000s that asked and answered the question, "Do you think pressing buttons is easy?" The question was followed by a short explosion and then a response: "It's not easy."
For those who don't recall it or are too young to remember, it was said in a Filipino accent and for a while it became a phrase that many would tease each other with. It was, in its own way, a celebration of the diversity that created our beautiful island. We were able to look at our differences and laugh them off because we knew that was only skin deep – no matter how thick the accent or how dark or light the skin tone.
Just recently, Guam celebrated the diversity of our small island community and our larger Pacific island region with the Guam Micronesia Island Fair.
Great job to the Guam Visitors Bureau and everyone who had a hand in organizing it, and all of those who participated as vendors and performers. These events are an example of how a melting pot of cultures can build a strong community that includes a thriving business sector and a government that can look beyond the origin of our last names or the color of our skin and see the commonalities we share as members of a human race.
There are times when, because of the harmful actions of a few, that the negative side of human nature arises. Following the machete attacks in Mangilao, there were many angry and hurtful comments made about Micronesians. The commenters either chose to ignore or were completely unaware that there are many more Micronesians living on Guam who are law-abiding and contributing members to our island home than there are lawbreakers. We forget sometimes that the neighbors who participated in a fair that celebrated our Pacific island cultures are from the islands of compact nations.
Bravo to those who, in the sometimes volatile world of social media, spoke out to remind everyone of the fact that we are all people, living on this island and trying to make a living. Those who decide not to follow the rules and laws that govern our society are not representative of an entire race of people – rather they are the exception to those who are also just trying to raise a family in peace and prosperity.
And that's not always easy to remember, especially when we're frightened by a specific event or tragedy, and worried about our children.
It's not always easy to be calm and open-minded, and remember that there are more things that we have in common than not. In fact, it can sometimes take quite a bit of effort – but isn't it worth it?