A Nice Thing And A Confession

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - August 11, 2005
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There is a young man out there who is one of the nicest things about Hawaii today. His name is Micah, and I met him at a tiny fast food sushi place at Manoa Marketplace. My son, husband and I had just picked up our nigiri bentos and spam musubi at the counter and made our way to the only available table left. There were a couple of chairs and one very high stool around it. We looked around—all other chairs were in use, so my husband settled himself on the stool and hunched over the table like an awkward giant. Then I heard a voice.

“Here, take this.” I looked up at a young man pushing his chair over at us. He was thin and sturdy, looked Hawaiian or part Hawaiian, and he had a friendly smile on his handsome face. I thought he was leaving so I said thanks, accepted the chair, and passed it along to my grateful husband.

Then I noticed the young man wasn’t leaving. He stood by his family. None of them was leaving either. They were all still eating lunch.

He had given us his chair just because we needed it.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said. “I thought you were done with it.”

“I’m OK,” he said, and shrugged. No big deal.

When he walked away I said to his folks, “what a nice young man.”

His dad beamed. “His mother raised him,” he said modestly, pointing at his wife, but obviously proud.

His mom smiled, “He’s a good kid.”

Micah, I learned, plays football and is in the seventh grade at St. Louis School. Before we complain again about the rudeness of “kids nowadays,” let’s remember that there are thoughtful young people like Micah around, too. He does his generation proud. And his parents clearly deserve the credit for raising him so well.

On another subject, a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the dangers of TWD … Talking While Driving. I cited a survey that showed even hands-free cell use in the car is dangerous and likely to cause accidents that can send you to the hospital. And I also vowed to give up my cell — cold turkey — while driving my car.

So I am here today — embarrassed and humbled — and forced to admit I have not been completely successful. In fact, I failed.

Yes, I now stick my cell in my purse and it stays there during my commute. Most of the time. I even wrapped up my hands-free headset and stuck it in the glove box.

But, my friends, I confess. I have slipped, and more than once. “This is an emergency,” I thought. “I’ll break the rule just this once.”

“It’s OK,” I thought another time. “I’m close to my house. How dangerous could this be?”

That wasn’t the point, and I knew it. The point was — I had promised to quit and I cheated. I must be (gasp) a cell phone addict! and that is a horrifying realization.

The worst part about cheating was every time I looked out the window I thought I saw people staring accusingly back. And I imagined they were saying to each other, “look, it’s Jade Moon and she’s talking on her cell! What a hypocrite— she said she wouldn’t do that, anymore!”

Shame. Shame on me and my weak, cheating soul.

That’s the problem with making a public promise. You have to keep it. People notice when you don’t.

I promise again. And this time I won’t fail.

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