Moi Questions

Sixfinger_threadfin_school

A school of moi.

Today I’m going to tell you a fish story.

I mean, literally. I’m going to tell you a story about a fish.

This fish was a moi, which are well known here in Hawai’i for being a fish that only the ali’i, the royalty, the most powerful people in the islands could eat in the ancient days. That’s not how the moi think of themselves, though. Who really think of themselves in terms of who is going to eat them?

There was one young moi who was always asking questions. I mean, always. He’d ask one question, and get an answer, and then he’d ask another.

“What’s that bright light up above the surface of the water?”

“Why are the corals different colors?”

“What’s that coming toward us, with all the holes? Should I avoid it?”

(Well, yes. It was a fishing net.)

“What’s that shiny thing on the end of the grass-like thing? Should I eat it?”

(It’s probably best not to eat the fishhook.)

Probably the most common question, though, was one he asked over and over and over:

“Is that good to eat?”

“Is that good to eat?”

“Is that good to eat?”

Let’s face it, that’s an important question when you’re a moi.

With all his questions came something else: He got to know the answers. Other moi started to ask him questions, because they thought he’d probably asked it already and knew the answer. Much of the time, he did.

When he didn’t, you know he’d turn around and ask that question of some other fish.

He always had moi and moi questions.

A decided groan greeted that last remark.

Moi swim in great schools, and if you’ve ever seen a school of fish, you realize that when the school turns, then a new leader emerges. The one who had been at the front is now at the side, and someone at the side is the new leader of the school.

All the other moi learned to feel very good about having this curious moi as their leader. When he was in front, they didn’t swim into fishing nets. When he was in front, he didn’t have them chase after fishhooks.

So his questions made him a valued leader among the moi.

That’s true of you, too. If you ask questions, if you seek after what you don’t know, if you keep learning, well, like our curious moi, you can be a success in school.

More groans.

Seriously. It will help you in school. But it will also help you make a better life. Ask questions, even when your parents, or your teachers, or even I start to look like you’ve asked a lot of them. It’s OK.

Because you’ll be learning, and thriving, and growing.

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