Build a better world. Be a kumu. Kumu are highly esteemed professionals who build a stronger Hawaiʻi and a better world.Bertram B.B.
Impress the heck out of everyone by telling them that what you are going to do after high school is build a new world.
You’re probably getting asked a lot what you’re going to do when you grow up. We know you’ve thought about it, being the responsible, hardworking, kuleana-driven kanaka that you are. What do you tell people when the truth is that you probably just want to take some well-deserved time to lie on the couch and watch Netflix? Do you mention that you want to go backpacking through Europe like some kid from the continent? Or maybe that all you can think of right now is catching some summer swells at Bowls?
Everyone wants to have a good answer to the question of what your post-high-school plans are, so why don’t you quietly take your couch time or your surf time, and then impress the heck out of everyone by telling them that what you are going to do after high school is build a new world. How can you change the world from your couch or from the lineup out at Bowls? Well, you can’t, but when the summer is over, you can get on the path to world-building by taking courses that will allow you to become a kumu!
The world is in desperate need of kumu, not just because of how you affect classrooms and schools.
The world is in desperate need of kumu, and not just because of how you affect students in the classroom. We are in a time of rising sea levels and global environmental issues, racism and homophobia, houselessness and a general disregard for our fellow kānaka. All of these things are at their root caused by the fact that those with decision-making power do not understand the pilina between ʻāina and kanaka, kanaka and kanaka. This is the legacy that your generations will have to deal with, but you can give haumāna a powerful weapon with which to fight these issues: ʻike Hawaiʻi.
Kumu are highly esteemed professionals who build a stronger Hawaiʻi and a better world.
So when you are done relaxing on the couch and the surf is flat, take the unique opportunity to change the world, be a kumu, a source, for the rising generations. Anyone can become a kumu if they are willing to put in the work, but those of you in Hawaiian culture, language, and ‘āina-based kula are already on your way down this path. You didn’t get all those paʻi from your own kumu for nothing! You carry the kuleana to share the ʻike that they have given you, and some of you will want to move further down this path and formally become a kumu like them, someone who will teach others about how this world can and should be, how we can look to our pasts to move into our futures, how to be better kānaka in pilina with the ʻāina. Kumu are highly esteemed professionals for our lāhui, one that many people dedicate their entire lives to, but we always need more, especially if we want to shape the world the way we do.