Lesson learned about where to find compassion

Living in a condo for almost six years, I frequently overhear comments by Mainlanders regarding their perception of the lack of acceptance by locals, as if acceptance did not have to be earned. It’s actually quite easy to understand why this may be. For example are the loud complaints and verbal abuse local grocery store employees have to absorb daily.

Yet, given the opportunity, no self-respecting local would hesitate to help any stranger, in the spirit of aloha, when needed.

Recently, I had a severe kidney stone attack. My wife had to help me walk to our car as I could not stand up on my own. About halfway to our car, I dropped to the pavement from the pain. As my wife tried to help me stand up, a neighbor from the next building, one whom I knew and had helped in the past, was walking by and, giving us eye contact, just continued on.

I don’t know which was worse – the kidney stone attack or the disappointment I felt at the lack of compassion in my fellow man. I have no doubt that had my emergency happened in any public place on the island, any number of local people would have offered to help. Initially, I thought I needed to rethink where I live on island but, in the spirit of aloha, I opted to forgive and forget it. Lesson learned.

Roy Ayala