Jul 28, 2009

Aloha Angels

Living in Hawaii, especially Maui, brings certain advantages and reminders:

My daughter was out late. She’s playing a whore in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (I’m a proud papa!), and they had a cast party. To my dismay, she forgot the one rule we have, the “you must call by 11 to let me know your itinerary” rule. At 11:07, I sent her a text asking her where she was. She said that she was still at the party and would go to a friend’s house for some cake. Cool, that’s fine. Now I know.
At 12:10, she calls. I was doing laundry getting ready to teach ballet the next day, so I missed the call. I crawl into bed, not looking at the phone, and get a second call. She’d hit a curb and her muffler was on the ground.

I got dressed, jumped in the car, and headed to the theater. When I got there, I crawled under the car (as if I knew what I was doing) to look at what the damage was and to see if there was anything I could do to help. The girls had done a great job tying it up, but it still wouldn’t make the 40 minute drive up the mountain. I packed my daughter into the car and our friend and headed home.

However, I needed gas. I stopped at the nearest gas station, turned off my car, got out to pump, but they were closed. Got back in the car, headed to the next one in town. I got out of the car and filled the tank. As I got in to drive away, the car didn’t start. Great. It’s 2:00 in the morning and there was nothing for me to do. We phoned a friend to jump the car; she was on her way. Either it sounded like it was a dead battery, the alternator's shot, or there was a problem with the starter. I only know how to deal with two of the three and am not an expert in automobile diagnosis. We got the cables set up and the car still wouldn’t start. We were stuck.

Just then, a man walks over and puts his head under the hood, asks if we need help, and gets to work. I let him know what the problem was, and he asked me to start the car so he could listen to the problem. This middle-aged, local man appeared to have genuine intentions, but in the middle of the night, with three girls and just me, we needed to be cautious. He took the battery apart and started cleaning connecters. We held flashlights, offered him melting ice-cream cake, poured coke onto the battery (like we were told), and got in his way. He said not to leave and that he would be right back with more tools.

While we waited, we told stories (to make my daughter feel better and) to pass the time. After about 45 minutes, we decided that we’d been abandoned. It was time to call AAA and get towed. Just then, he comes driving back up. He put on a head wrapped flashlight and went back to work. We told stories, and he was greatly entertained. All of us having a theater background were helpful in making his work more enjoyable, since we were all pretty useless, anyway. We laughed and carried on, one by one, going through all of our horrific car tragedies. At this point, 3:00 in the morning, I realized that we hadn’t had been introduced. I introduced myself and then the girls, and he said, “David… Kawika.”
“Which do you prefer?” I asked.
“Either is fine.”
I went with Kawika. He then said to start the car. It turned on. He explained that the cells in the battery were dead and that I needed a new one. I looked at mine on the ground while a new one was in the car. He walked away with my battery and his tools and asked if I wanted to keep it. “I wouldn’t know what to do with it,” I answered honestly, so he kept walking. I was dumbfounded. He was done and was just going to leave.

He obviously fixed cars for a living, so I said, “I obviously have to pay you.”“Whatever.” He said happily.
“How much?”
“Whatever you can.”
I paused at his response. Who was this man? He got into his car, and I quietly asked the girls if one of them would marry him. “When do I pay you?”
“It doesn’t matter.” He responded. It doesn’t matter?!
“You have my number. Pay me what you can when you can. If you have any more problems, give me a call. Kawika’s Roadside Service.”

Here’s the thing: He doesn’t know if I’m ever going to pay him or call him or contact him ever again. He didn’t take down my number and Aly is hard to link to Alexander. He really has no way to find me. Technically, he gifted me, and there is nothing I’m required to do about it.

Don’t worry; Kawika will be reimbursed for his late night work, more than I can give, but adequately in proportion to his Aloha, time, and expertise.

His Aloha was a reminder as to what it means to live with integrity, love for people, and giving your gifts.

OH! It’s not over... He went back to the theater (this is 3:30 AM!) and fixed my daughter’s car. He wouldn’t take any money from her because he was not happy with the job he had done. Few people have that much integrity in their work. He explained that he would give her an estimate when it was done correctly, or don’t bother paying. (AND THERE IS NO CATCH!)

Needless to say, he has a client for life, or several. In addition, as part of my payment, I’d like you to add him to your list (if you aren’t already sworn to a family member or dear friend of the family) as your mechanic. He’ll come to you 24/7 and will fix any car to the best of his ability until you can drive. Please add Kawika to your phone list.

I’d also like you to do this (even if you don’t live on Maui): Please give him a call, and tell him that you had read the story about him coming to the rescue of three girls and a man at the Schell station in the middle of the night. Thank him for keeping true Aloha Spirit alive. He needs to know that he is appreciated for being amazing. This small gesture will encourage his wonderful behavior and will take very little time. Be brave, step out of the box, and give this wonderful man a call. Just tell him “thank you for being a guardian angel.” He’s certainly mine.

Kawika, we can all learn from you.

Mahalo Nui Loa!

Kawika’s Roadside Service: 808-264-8751

Jul 15, 2009

Use What Other's Made!

In this economy it is difficult to get anyone to listen to your message, even if it is full of health and healing, or just about your shoes. There are a couple of ways to get your message across, even if it costs some money for the listener.
If your message is a free message, you might have a more difficult time than those who are charging. People always want to find out when the other shoe is going to drop and how much it’s going to cost them. Instead, they’ll avoid you because they are fearful of scams. Come on, you do the same thing. If you get an email that says “free,” you are going to be more hesitant than if it had a price tag on it.
At least with a price tag, you know what to expect, right? I know that if I go to most dating sites, it will cost me X amount of dollars, but if it says free, then I’m going to think, “hmm, well, what don’t I get, then?”
Here is the best way to get your message out there:
There are a couple of demographics that like to spend more money than others, or can. There is the tween demographic, and although their money is not from them, generally, they do get a certain amount of disposable income. There is the female demographic, and although they are more picky on where they spend their money, they will listen to viable arguments. Finally, there is the gay population. This has always been the forerunner demographic in disposable income. Make sure that your pitch, spark, or add is geared to them.
Next, there is no such thing as too much facebook, twitter, or myspace. Again, look at the demographics you are trying to reach! Give free samples of your message, if it’s for charge, or post it on these places. If your message in life is “teach humility,” although that is a tough one without sounding egotistical, try tweeting “children make me smile, they are so level in many aspects.” Also, try to network with people that would be possible clients, either financially, or otherwise.
Finally, compromise your message so that it is true but it is in the language of the reader and is sensitive to the time.
I’m filled when talking about health, psychologically, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and otherwise. For now, my topics will be around the economy. This is because its on everybody’s mind. It’s a sensitive subject. Sensitivity shows that you are willing to do something for them, not just in order to gain a buck. The groups and companies that just want to make a buck get criticism and chastised by the populous, because this is a bitter subject. Aim to do something right for the sake of doing what’s right. It will pay off. If one person is happy with you, they’ll get other people to be happy with you. Everyone likes sharing and supporting the good guy, right now.
Strap on your cape, get online, and follow these directions; you’ll be sure to be successful.

May 28, 2009

Fast Lain-er's Lifestyle Lament

Those of you who sit there with your blackberries, trios, side-kicks, and other crazy cell devices are in luck. You have the discipline to change your lifestyle today. You’ve taught yourself how to get up and check your phone while making your coffee. You answer emails while you eat breakfast, plug it into a port to listen to music while you shower, text your family on your way to work to update each other on the day’s schedule of events, and it’s a ready tool for all the productive (and non-productive) items you “must” accomplish today.

Some of you even have the Pavlov’s Dog response when you hear that jingle, beep, tone, song, letting you know you have a message. To add onto that, some of you who smoke have become accustomed to picking up a cigarette when you answer the phone.

Fast Lain-ers, this is for you: Pick a non-committal exercise to add to your Pavlov routine. Only one! You have a tendency to add too much, but we’re going to add one, THEN in six weeks, you are permitted to change it. Let’s start with one of these:

Leg lift (10 on each leg. From a sitting position straiten the knee to hip level. This will help with posture, leg strength, circulation, and caloric spending). Just do ten on each side every time you pick up the phone.

Knee lift (10 on each leg. Keeping the knee bent, lift the leg to your chest.) Same rules apply as the above.

Stand/Sit (sit and stand 20 times. Grip your abs and just keep up and down. Don’t pitch your upper body forward. Try to do it like you have a book on your head).

Tapidy Tap Tap (Tap your foot. Do 20 on one side, really flexing as you tap, then 20 on the other)

Please don’t do these while you are driving, you shouldn’t be on your phone anyway. Just drive and listen to your music, podcast, radio, children. Driving should be time for you, since as a fast-lainer you don’t get much of that to yourself. Let the drive be your decompression time, not work time.

Finally, most people tell me that you don’t want to look silly. Start practicing this sentence: “I’m stepping up my lifestyle.” People may laugh or roll their eyes, but it’s only because they didn’t think of it first and they are jealous. Don’t let them ruin your step. Just keep going. One tap/life/stand at a time. Use this sentence when you have to grab your phone in the grocery store and you are suddenly stopped doing leg lifts. People are happy to see (generally) someone who is making an effort to better their health. Good for you and keep it up!