YK’s 365 Release: Day 41

When I worked at the Apple Store as a Mac Genius I recall the types of people that would come in with their computers and iPods. I remember making observations of race and class, privilege.

Once a thin white woman, who walked in like she was on a runway, walked right up to the Genius Bar with her iPod, without an appointment and cutting in front of dozens who had been waiting patiently. I told her she needed to make an appointment to be seen. She demanded to see the manager. She said, “I don’t know what happened to my iPod, it just stopped working.” And when I examined it, it was clear she had dropped it, and the drive inside was damaged. I said, “You can see here you dropped it.” And she quipped, “No I didn’t. Aren’t you supposed to give me a new iPod? Give me a new one.” I hated her.

Another customer, a rotund black woman, came in with her teenage daughter. They waited in line all morning, and when they came up to me, the mother looked at her daughter apologetically. Her daughter feebly placed her iPod on the bar and whispered. “I dropped it. Is there anything you can do? I can’t afford to buy a new one.” I loved her.

ipodBoth customers had the same damage to their iPod, but one had expectations from her privilege and entitlement. And that immediately enraged me. I had interactions like this multiple times everyday.

I disdain assumption, privilege, self-righteousness, self-entitlement. Often these lead to expectations as well.

Because I do not like to feel restricted in anyway, either by people, plans, time, work, perceptions, I don’t like expectations. The moment I feel someone expects something from me, I become impermeable. However, if you don’t have any expectations, I am ready to offer everything.

With me, it’s more of a “Ask, and ye shall not receive” situation.

I like to be free with no attachments. I am a wanderer and adventurer. I like having the freedom to explore a path and meander along if I feel like it. Even so, I am very grounded. I am also very invested and accountable to my community. It’s a matter of how you approach me. I like to be humbled by people and things around me. I love people who have struggle in them. People who have history. I like for every moment to have potential for something new and unexpected.

So today on Day 41 of my 365 Release, I’ll be letting go of a 5th Generation iPod that I refurbished, to someone who does not yet have an iPod and who never expected to have one because she does not expect to ever have nice things for herself. I am giving it to my mom. She gave me everything she had, unconditionally. May I always be humbled by her, unexpectedly.


[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]

4 responses to “YK’s 365 Release: Day 41”

  1. […] Day 41 (10/18/10): ipod 5th generation […]

  2. nicole says:

    re: “Ask, and ye shall not receive”

    I’ve spent the past 3 of 5 trips in India giving away photos, film and ultimately cameras to Hindu ascetic women (sanyasinis supposedly mindful of non-attachment). Original stashes of cameras were inherited collections from my deceased grandparents, others hand-me-downs from friends who had since purchased new ones, generous donations from Kodak, and eventually a few of my own cameras I have technologically grown out of.
    On the walk back to camp after a sahi snaan (holy bath) procession during the Kumbh Mela in 2007, after a week of nearly filling up a 2gb memory card with her new-hand-me-down digital point-n-shoot, I witnessed one Mata Ji screaming and yelling at all those around her, because she lost her camera! She handed it to someone so she could take a dip in the holy Ganga, while that person handed it to another so they could take their dip, and so on and so on…. by the time she was finished with her “liberating bath”, dried off and changed into her new clothes, she realized it was missing. Her irate unforgiving attitude made me question why I give these cameras to these women in the first place. For years now she has begged me for a second / replacement camera. I still hesitate due to her reaction to having lost the first one.
    On the other hand, a similar lost camera event took place this Winter during another sahi snaan procession in Haridwar. The difference however was in the way this other Mata Ji handled the situation and her self. She seemed to have very little problem with having lost her camera, perhaps a slight moment of disappointment, but in contrast remained completely calm and unattached to the photos she snapped and the camera itself. She remained quite content with the memories of the bath she held in her mind. She never asked me for replacement camera, however if I had not already ran out I would have gladly offered her one. A few weeks ago (several months after her lost camera incident) I bummed into her. She told me she found the camera! with little explanation of where it went or how it re-appeared. I believe the universe took care of this one for me. 🙂

    • YK Hong says:

      thank you for following me along on this journey. i love what you have shared! sounds like you are navigating a wonderful path with so many beautiful lessons, and i will check out your website as soon as i get a moment.

  3. nicole says:

    cheers, admittedly I’ve been doing a bit of catch up on your blog today… having spent most of the month without internet access (literally in a cave)

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