She's Spoken

Advice, opinions, and critical thinking all in one place!

Attitude Adjustment

As usual my day at work presented some unique situations, and a chance for me to learn.  Living here in Hawaii has presented some unique challenges for me and has required a real lifestyle adjustment. I have been here a little over a year now and I am still begging to go home. I agree that this a beautiful place to vacation and getaway, but as far as raising a family or living here, it’s not for me. That being said I realized yesterday that my attitude about the people and the lifestyle have been hindering me. Through an angry interaction with a customer I realized that the feelings that I have for this island may be my feelings, but I have no right to treat majority the way I feel about the minority that I have come into contact with.

I was on the phone with a woman who had purchased a large number of heavy equipment from us and she called to ask some questions, none-the-less somewhere along the way she lost her cool and intern I lost mine (bad idea, I am sorry for that). This woman began going on and on stating the following, “all you Hawaiians are so under qualified, everywhere I look I see people performing jobs that they are under-educated perform.” I was furious because not only did she insult my intelligence, but she assumed and categorized me as a Hawaiian. She made a blanket statement and applied it to me. At first I was just flat out offended and upset; upset that she had insulted me and even more that she assumed I had to be a Hawaiian. That is when I realized that I was upset that she assumed I was Hawaiian. There is nothing wrong with being Hawaiian. Yes they do things there way, yes they live this whole, “Aloha,” lifestyle, yes it is very different from being back home, and yes I am sure that this not the place for me. However, that gives me no right to treat all the people here like they are not the same. I realized that I have been interacting with the locals through my perception of a few failed interactions.

I may not agree with the things they do, or the things that are said, or the food that they eat, or the lifestyle at all. That being sad, I still have no right to interact with them from a judgmental standpoint; I have no right to stereotype and treat a whole people accordingly. My opinion has been substantiated via my interactions and experiences here on the island, but I should love the people all the same. I have to be better at realizing that because they have this, “Aloha” style does not mean that I have to distance myself. I need to be better at not applying my findings to all Hawaiians, which was so unfair and juvenile of me. This is America and part of what makes us the United States is our ethic/racial diversity. We are a tolerant people, and accepting body and judgment is not my job. That is something that should be left to the Almighty himself. I still feel that this is not the place for my family, but I don’t have to be condescending and unaccepting of their way of life. I hope that you will take a moment to make sure that your attitudes about a certain group, or a religion, or an industry, or whatever don’t become hindering and harsh actions. Accept people as they are, I didn’t say like or make them your best friend, just accept and acknowledge the differences and let it be.

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4 Comments»

  Sara wrote @

Baby cousin this was good! It’s good to see that u relaized that you were that lady on the phone! It was a hard lesson to learn at work. However nevertheless it’s something you learned! Some people live their whole life & never learn!

  mamaoso wrote @

Thanks big cousin, for the comments and for taking the time to read. I hope all is well. See you in June!

  CW wrote @

Hey …Sometimes it’s challenging for me not to put up those “walls”…Interesting NPR article enclosed:

Hawaii Is Diverse, But Far From A Racial Paradise http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120431126

  UFC wrote @

Cool information. I will check back later when I get more time to read the entire site.


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