“…the worst part is being alone with your thoughts…in your thoughts…”

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Leina‘ala Ahu Isa, Ph.D., Trustee, At-LargeImagine that you are completely dependent on others, imagine spending all day asking complete strangers for help while most of them try not to make eye contact… Have you seen the play “Les Miserables”?

Les Miserables
Lily Collins, from “Les Misérables”. – Image: Courtesy

A homeless lady once told me, “the worst part is being alone with your thoughts…in your thoughts…”

I feel that we are living the ‘play’ here in Hawai‘i, and I have tried to connect it with a sermon titled “The Aloha Spirit” by the late, great Reverend Akaka.

“His world would go on turning…a world that’s full of happiness that I have never known…

And now I’m all alone again…nowhere to go, no one to turn to…

And now the night is near….

Sometimes I walk alone at night when everybody else is sleeping.

I think of Him and then I’m happy with the company I’m keeping.

The city goes to bed..and I can live inside my head.

–lyrics from Les Miserables

Below is a reprint of a sermon delivered by the Rev. Abraham Akaka at Kawai’ahao Church, Honolulu, Hawaii, on March 13, 1959…the day Hawai’i became a state. These beautiful words which are just as appropriate and meaningful today as when he first spoke them.

The Aloha Spirit

“Aloha” is the power of God, seeking to unite what is separated in the world – the power that unites heart with heart, soul with soul, life with life, culture with culture, race with race, nation with nation, and man with woman. Aloha is the power that can reunite when a quarrel has brought separation. Aloha is the power that reunites individuals with themselves when they become separated from the image of God within. Thus when a Person or a People live in the spirit of Aloha, they live in the Spirit of God.

Aloha consists of this attitude of heart, above negativism, above legalism. It is the unconditional desire to promote the true good of other people in a friendly spirit, out of a sense of kinship. Aloha seeks to do good, with no conditions attached. We do not do good only to those who do good to us. One of the sweetest things about the love of God….about Aloha, is that it welcomes the stranger and seeks his and her good. A person, who has the Spirit of Aloha loves even when the love is not returned…And such is the love of God.

Aloha does not exploit a people or keep them in ignorance and subservience. Rather, it shares the sorrows and joys of people. Aloha seeks to promote the true good of others.

Today, one of the deepest needs of mankind is the need to feel a sense of kinship, one with another. Truly, all mankind belongs together.

From the beginning, all mankind has been called into being, nourished, watched over by the love of God. The real true Golden Rule is “ALOHA”. This is the way of life we shall affirm.

Let us affirm forever what we really are – for Aloha is the Spirit of God at work in you and in me, and in the world.”

Mālama Pono, A hui hou till July. –Trustee Leina‘ala

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Leinaʻala Ahu Isa, Ph.D. was elected an “at-large” trustee in 2014 and currently serves as Board of Trustees vice chair. She has held elected offices in the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives and the State Board of Education. She served on OHA’s first Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund Board. Retired as the Executive Director of Small Business Management at UH Mānoa, she also brings a wealth of business knowledge as Hawaiʻi Pacific University’s Chair of MBA Programs, and Professor of Business Management and Entrepreneurship courses. She is passionate to serve, with a strong ethically-driven fiduciary duty. To contact, call (808) 594-1877 or email: TrusteeAhuIsa@oha.org.