Lt. Governor Chin recently spoke with Senior Capstone students at Punahou School about his career choices and what motivated him to become a public servant. He was asked to share his personal journey so he described how his mother told him she never had to worry about him because he was always a careful child.
However, that careful child grew up to become the Hawaii Attorney General, who challenged the President of the United States because it was the right thing to do to protect the values of Hawaii residents. He wanted to be on the right side of history when his children and grandchildren look back at what happened in 2018. He told the students, for humanity and common decency, he’s hopeful that citizens will continue to battle for the nation’s conscious and soul.
As the son of Chinese immigrants, his parents encouraged him to learn, work hard and find a way to be useful. His parents came to the United States for a better life and encouraged him and his sister to open their eyes to other races, other cultures, and how people live around the world. That inspired him to become a lawyer and he has been in public service most of his adult life. He became a prosecutor then Hawaii’s Attorney General, where he felt it was his duty to fight for all Hawaii residents, to ensure fairness, equality and justice.
Lt. Governor Chin encouraged the students to embrace life’s experiences, learn from all they encounter, and not be afraid to get involved. He said one day, each student will eventually face an important life-changing decision, but they’ll be able to decide what’s right for them because of life experiences and the people who affected them. He explained that’s how he went from being a very careful child to being an “activist attorney general,” which is how U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions described him when Hawaii took on the White House.
He reminded the students, who sang an oli or Hawaiian chant at the beginning of the session, that we live in a wonderful place to live. Hawaii is a melting pot of people living and working together, enriching our society and community at large. That’s why civic engagement is critical to protect and celebrate our diversity, which makes Hawaii the Aloha State.