group logo

Look For the Helpers

5:06 PM · Oct 11, 2020

Look for the helpers in your community, then elect them. It was May of 2018, and one of the most destructive volcanic eruptions in Hawaii history had begun on the Big Island when lava burst out of the ground in Leilani Estates. There had been no government evacuation warnings even as officials had known for days that lava had been intruding in the area, cracking and bulging the ground in the subdivision. People weren’t warned and they weren’t told to pack and evacuate. It was as if the people of Puna were on their own. Leadership was non-existent. That’s when Ikaika Marzo stepped up to help the community when he sensed a disaster was about to take place. He and his helpers had gone around and made a map of all the cracking that was taking place on the roads in the subdivision and measuring the cracks daily. The map ended up showing the exact location where the lava would first erupt as well as the line of fissures that would eventually form. We used this map to warn people where lava was most likely to be seen first. The next day, the lava erupted right inside our warning area. Ikaika and his helpers were some of the first people on the scene to document the lava erupting and warn everyone in the area to evacuate. Then they stepped up and helped people evacuate for days. Then Ikaika went on to create the HUB, the refuge for the community for the duration of the eruption that ended up lasting months. At the HUB, meals were served daily, food and supplies were dispersed, information was shared and questions were always answered. People were comforted, encouraged, and given hope that everything would eventually be ok. Ikaika Marzo stepped up to lead before the disaster struck, and he was the leader everyone needed all the way through the eruption. That’s what leaders do. They lead when their people need them, title or not. I’ll never forget the lesson I learned observing that eruption. Leaders should be discovered, and when they are discovered, the people will hoist them forward and compel the leader to an official leadership role. The calls for Ikaika to be mayor back then were countless. Every day all throughout the eruption people were saying Ikaika should be mayor. There was no question. Our country needs more citizen leaders to step up like Ikaika did because its the right thing to do and because they have the ability to help their community. Look for the helpers in your community, and then elect them. Remember all that Ikaika has done, and continues to do to this day for the good of everyone on the Big Island.

© 2024 Tracker LLC
Tracker is better online space for your community.