A deep seated and unacknowledged depression will kill Pacific Island cultures and her people.
Most Psychologists will tell you that the people with the biggest smiles and loudest personalities are usually the most frightened or are hiding the greatest depths of despair and depression. Most notably from themselves.
So what then do they say when you come across not a just a single person in this situation, not just a whole country or race, for indeed the Pacific is made up of three distinct and very different ethic groups Melanesian, Polynesian and Micronesian, but an entire global region.
Many Islanders will tell you that the reason we’re all so happy is that we used to live in dark and evil times and that European missionaries brought us your white god and religious betrothal to that god. A god that most westerners have no further time for.
We would have you believe that we’re so joyously happy because we’ve been saved.
The truth is most Islanders you meet are deeply depressed and lost in a world that is not only, not of our making but has no room for our deep seated sense of family and tribe.
Our extended families and our connection to them give us reason to live and to love. Our connection to our tribal lands give us a sense of belonging that Westerners are unlikely to have available to them.
When I visit my fathers grave on our family land in Fiji, I am surrounded by the graves of my forefathers 5 generations deep. I feel their presence with me and it brings me soul healing peace.
But we don’t live on our tribal lands anymore. We live in Australia and New Zealand, we live in America, Canada and The UK. Wherever you are, we are too, because we believed you. We believed that following your way would bring us the riches you promised. We thought that living your life would make us happier.
And so we walked into the cities you built on our land, we climbed onto your boats and planes and we joined your financial systems. A financial system that has not only left you feeling disconnected from your loved ones but now us.
A financial system that makes us work 50 hours a week for 50 weeks a year so that we can spend the remaining two weeks a year visiting the family we used to see every day of our lives.
A financial system that has not only failed us but now you too.
Pacific Islanders make just one percent of the global population yet are proud owners of 25% of the worlds languages.
We also face annihilation from global warming and worst of all is that our depression from our general malaise causes many of us to numb our pain with drugs, alcohol and over eating.
Pacific Islanders are getting fatter by the generation, separated further and further from our homes and our families. A child born into an Islander family today faces the prospect of morbid obesity because we’ve also been found to be the fattest people on the planet.
That brings it’s own problems, heart disease, diabetes, strokes and a plethora of cancers. And that means we may be unable to afford to buy the insurance we need for the people we love more than life itself.
A Simple Request
We are grateful for your medical care and it’s medicines but there are ways we can help heal you too. We can bring unity back to your extended families. We can bring unconditional love. We can show you the benefits of opening your heart and your home.
We need your help too. We need you to use your schools to teach values not just skills. We need you to ask for our help because we see your pain and know how to heal it but we won’t butt in where we’re not requested.
We need you to stop pretending you’re not hurting so we can know it’s ok to show you our own pain and starting living a different reality. Together as Brothers.