Responding To Rude Column

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - June 22, 2005
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“I wish one of the three R’s in school would be respect. Teachers should focus on teaching the importance of respecting others’ privacy, reinforcing the need for rules and manners. I get tired of hearing the F word on the street, hearing drivers’ stereos blaring/vibrating in traffic, hearing cell phone conversations I don’t want to be privy to.”

That was from Janet, one of many, many people who responded to my June 1 column on rude behavior in public places. I think I touched a nerve. So many people wrote to tell me about their frustrations with the crassness of modern-day society that I think they deserve to be heard.

A woman who calls herself “Nana of 3” wrote: “The words integrity, morals, customer service excellence, respect, courtesy, ALOHA, etc. do not seem to be of importance or of value to many, especially the younger generation.

“You are so right … it is our own fault; we have accepted or given up on higher standards of behavior. Probably because the percentage of those with lower standards are higher than those who strive to live up to higher standards.”

Patricia Dukes, chief of emergency medical services for the City and County of Honolulu, had a suggestion for me: “I am hoping you spoke with the manager of the store, and the reason is I am in a position that I would want to know if my customers had been treated rudely. I have no tolerance for that sort of behavior: It is akin to secondhand smoke.”


Giselle Borland had similar thoughts: “I hope you called the manager at the supermarket you mentioned and informed them of what you heard and told them which employee was involved. It doesn’t help if we don’t let management know when their employees are rude or inappropriate.”

Ron Iwai asked, “Sometimes I wonder where is the Aloha Spirit?”

And Maurice Velez thinks maybe we give too much aloha to obnoxious folks, “You are right. It’s our fault, and while we need to treat people with courtesy and respect, we need to stop accepting this and not give Aloha to this type of behavior.”

Lloyd Nakata, an avid KGMB9 fan (and MidWeek reader!) even amended a line to my article, “”We need to treat people courteously and respectfully, and we can only hope to receive the same in return.”

I agree with all of you and thank you for your feedback. There were many more e-mails, but I can’t squeeze them all in this little column.

But you know what? There’s always another side. And Marc Matsumoto reminded me, “Please realize that there are still some considerate people out there!”

Marc, of course you are right. I meet nice people every day who do know exactly what the Aloha Spirit is all about. They believe it and live it, and that’s why Hawaii still is one of the greatest places on earth to live.

But it’s like all the other precious resources of our fragile island state, in danger of being overwhelmed and lost. And I’m afraid once it’s gone, it’ll be gone for good.

So thank you, readers, for your feedback, and for doing your part to keep Aloha alive.

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