Monthly Archives: May 2014

Help

“I’m going to make a change, for once in my life. It’s going to feel real good I’m going to make a difference, I’m going to make it right…”

–Michael Jackson

 

We were on our way home from the farmer’s market this morning when we saw him. He was old for lack of a better word, shaky, and inching up a long and sharp hill that snaked around the steep mountain of Hualalai. In one hand, he carried an extra large bag of groceries in a reusable bag the color of deep ocean and in the other he pushed his walker.

My heart went out to him.

It took me back to when my Grandpa was alive, when we’d see him in random places doing what he needed to do so he and my Grandma could survive. Mom would always pull over for him and we’d stay with him until his errands were done.

I couldn’t not say anything.

“Aw, look at that man.” I told my husband, “poor thing.”

He caught my hint, pulled over. “You want to give him a ride?”

“Yes.” I said. I wasn’t sure if he’d accept or if he’d think we were a couple of weirdos. Two weeks ago we (kids included) stopped to offer a distraught, barefooted teenaged girl a ride when we saw her walking in the dark along a blackened highway and she said ‘no.’ I felt like telling her that I was once like her– lost, unwanted, feeling like there was nowhere to go but she was just like me and wouldn’t accept help. ‘No thank you.’ She said right before I called the police to ask them to help her before she got hurt.

But this man didn’t say, ‘no.’ He looked up at us with bright, smiling eyes and said, “yes, please!” As he got settled in, he told us how his car broke down yesterday, how he needed to see his wife, how she was expecting him, how he was so happy we came. “You folks good people. Good hearts, you get.”

We drove up and up and up the hill and listened to the man pant and wheeze.

“It’s right up there,” he said, pointing to another long, snakelike hill which our car climbed easily. We dropped him  off, smiling and waving, right in front of an elderly hospice.

As we watched him cross the parking lot, I wished we could’ve done more for him, what we did was so easy, so effortless. We said, “aloha”, whispered a few prayers to keep him well and healthy and safe, and took off.

I’m not trying to get pats on the back with this story, and I’m not trying to act like I’m this nice sunshine of a person who goes out of my way to help everyone in the whole wide world (you know all about that, don’t you, high-maintenance woman in the grocery line behind me who was acting all pushy, looking at your watch like you had to be somewhere, getting all huffy when I put my six things on the conveyer belt because that meant I was in your way because you only had three, and you man at the clothes store who told me the line formed behind you when I got into the right line– I felt bad but I wasn’t going to let you and everyone who followed you in front of me; hey, it’s not my fault you can’t read signs, guys.)

Even though my husband and I live by the ‘do one good thing for someone else everyday’ rule, I don’t openly post  good deeds on facebook for people I know (and kind of know) to see on the daily or ever, now that I think about it, but I am sharing today’s adventure right now because I believe that we are all in the position to help people. And if we help those who don’t expect it, if we give each other kindness when it’s needed the most, we really can make the world a better place.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him… We need not wait to see what others do.”

–Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ Ghandi

 

 

Categories: Soapbox | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Yesterday

I wrote this and published it privately because I wasn’t sure I wanted to share so much. To me, it’s kind of personal. I don’t like to talk too much about myself to other people unless I’m trying to get a job or I feel like I have things in common with them or something, but I’ve read other blogs that touched me because they were so intimate that I felt compelled to share a little more about myself.  So here goes:

Continue reading

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TBT

TBT

A board made for an author’s reading that I was a part of.

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Hero of the Day

young maya angelou

I’ve been following Maya Angelou’s facebook feed for years and was shocked when I read the status update on her page when I woke up.

Just two days ago she wrote two posts. The first one read:

“An unexpected medical emergency caused me the greatest disappointment of having to cancel my visit to the Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game ceremony. I am so proud to be selected as its honoree. However, my doctors told me it would be unadvisable for me to travel at that time. My thanks to Robin Roberts for speaking up for me and thank you for all your prayers. I am each day better.”

And the second one said:

And now we come to the day where we can honor the brave men and women who have risked their lives to honor our country and our principles. Our history is rife with citizens who care and who are courageous enough to say we care for those who went before us.

So I was shocked this morning, when her family let the world know that she had passed away.

Growing up in Hawai’i, Maya Angelou’s work was never required reading. We read the standards: T.S. Elliot, Elizabeth Barret Browning, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickenson, Shakespeare, but never Maya Angelou– in fact, even when we read African American poetry, it was limited to the time of the Harlem Renaissance. No, I discovered her work on my own when I was in high school and actually, I have the movie Poetic Justice to thank for that.

Throughout the years, I’ve read her words, felt them grow within me, let them simmer into that stuff called motivation, and today, it is so apparent that she’s touched a lot of people from many different backgrounds in positive ways and to me, that makes her a hero.

My absolute favorite poem by her is called, “Still I Rise”:

Thank you for your sharing your soul with the world, Dr. Angelou. May God’s angels guide you home, and may you rest peacefully there.

hero

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Dass Why Hahd

I posted a couple of music video things earlier and took them down because I’m scratching the song challenge. Even though it makes me blog everyday, I feel like I’m lazy blogging and I don’t want to be like that. So instead, I’m sharing a video of me at an author reading sponsored by MIA (Mixing Innovative Arts) on O’ahu.

A video of the reading I did for my short story, “Dass Why Hahd” published by Hawaii Review in 2010.

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