You May Say I’m A Dreamer

I’m in Hawaii with my husband for (his) work and (our) vacation. This is my second trip to paradise; if you’ve never been, I highly encourage you to start saving now. It’s much more incredible than you are even imagining.

My husband’s conference is at the Hawaii Convention Center. In light of the ongoing studies and debates about our own Convention Center, I snapped this photo and texted Charley Johnson, director of the FM Convention and Visitor’s Bureau:

“Wherever it gets built, can our conference center look like this?”

“You’re such a dreamer, which I like about you.  We’ll have lots to talk about when you get home from your wonderful trip.”

“Yes I am, and yes we will. Talk to you in July!”

I was mostly kidding when I sent it to him because as a community, we are…you know…us. We’re practical and don’t want to be too “showy.” We’re so darn careful and, I’ll say it, often small in our thinking. And then there’s the ever present anti-tax contingency who seem determined to have no vision for the community, or at least not one that’s going to cost any money.

But today I’m not kidding. Today I want to know why I’m such a dreamer. Or maybe what I really want to know is where are all the other dreamers?

Why can’t we dream big and create big and BE big? The argument that it won’t pay for itself doesn’t hold water when you look at the ripple effects of spending in communities that make these serious front-end investments. I would not be in Hawaii today without this conference center. Every dollar we and the 1,200+ attendees and their guests are spending, in restaurants, in stores, on transportation, in museums and cultural centers, in hotels and bars and so much more, is directly related to one building and its capacity to host a big conference. Why don’t we want that? Why are we letting a small faction of the community dictate our ability to grow and prosper? It just makes no sense to me, and if that makes me a dreamer, then so be it.

My Forum column today is asking very similar questions. I guess being a dreamer is my new-ish passion, but it’s not enough to simply dream; I want action to come from it.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but (I know) I’m not the only one. Let’s go. Let’s dream, but even more importantly, let’s build our dreams and watch our community soar.

The Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu.


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