Perpetual Forgiveness

Be easy.

It can’t be that hard.  Okay, maybe it is.  My advice tends to be personally aspirational, meaning my advice to you is really just advice to me.  If it wasn’t, I’d probably be a hypocrite, no better than those self-help gurus who have figured out the secret to happiness, which has nothing to do with money, and who are really happy in their mansions built from the proceeds of unhappy people buying their books.

There’s this little sandwich and smoothie cafe in a little town on the windward side of a little island in the large Pacific.  As with most good eateries on the island, it was modestly prosperous initially thanks mostly to a smallish group of regulars, locals in the know, and then ultimately blown up by a few visitors who just had to tell the Internet how good their grilled chicken sandwich was.  So now the place is inundated, which is fine, because its good for business.  Unless we’re talking about the business of forgiveness.

Generalizations generally don’t apply to all.  But generally, visitors to my island from the mainland (continental US) have little to no aloha.  It’s hard to describe aloha, but driving with aloha means slowing down to let a car turn or merge.  It’s like going a little out of your way to make someone else’s day a little nicer.  Not to say there’s no aloha on the mainland, because I’m sure many small towns are similar in this regard.  But something about getting on a plane and flying to a place you see solely as a week-long tropical destination/playground, and not a place where other people actually live out their entire lives, seems to bring out the asshole in some people.

Enter bitch.  I stood in a long line at this little cafe one afternoon, which was clearly busy beyond its originator’s design, and watched three teenage girls frantically running around to fill all the orders.  A tourist woman, late 30s, who had already received her sandwich and taken two bites, walked to the front of the line and demanded a new sandwich.

Visitor: Uh, I ordered glutten free, and this roll is not glutten free, I can tell.

Employee: Um, that roll is glutten free ‘mam.

Visitor:  Well it’s breadier than I thought, and I taste glutten, and the chicken is more fried than your menu led me to believe.  I can’t eat this.  I just can’t eat this.  You need to make me another.

Employee: Um, okay.  What would you like?

Never mind that the business was slammed, the wait for food was already 20 minutes, and the bread was glutten free.  This visitor was the most important person to enter that establishment, and her minor inconvenience simply could not be suffered.  Her minor inconvenience had to be rectified at the expense of the cafe and the other customers, because every sandwich this woman eats must be exactly as she imagined and perfect.

Have some aloha, accept human error, and eat the fucking sandwich.  A wiser person once said, forgiveness is not a gift to the other, it is a gift to yourself because you no longer have to harbor negative feelings.  Show some aloha, be easy.



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