The Aloha Spirit of Hawai‘i….


Mahalo nui loa, Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka! Regarded as a champion of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders during his time in Washington D.C, he was known at the “Ambassador of Aloha.” As son, Dr. Gerard Akaka describes his Dad: “He was ‘wired’ to see the best in others and to offer kindness, caring, and hugs…everywhere he went.”

As I leave you (being this is my last article for Ka Wai Ola in 2018) with what I feel, this word, “Aloha,” truly means to me, I wanted to share that I have always considered it more of a ‘feeling’ than just a particular meaning. Of course we all know that it can mean many things, but to me it is indescribable if it stands alone. It must be “experienced” to be understood. On a spiritual level, Aloha is an acknowledgment of the Divinity which dwells within and without us. It comes from the core, the roots of “alo,” meaning “presence, front, or face, and the “ha” meaning Divine breath, thereby combining the two means “the presence of the Divine Breath.”

So you see, a deeper meaning and sacredness can be found in this word, Aloha.

In Hawai‘i, the “Aloha Spirit” is not just something made up for the tourism industry, it is a way of life and part of the State Laws of Hawai‘i:

HRS 5-7.5 “Aloha Spirit. (a) Aloha Spirit is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, “Aloha,” the following unuhi laula loa may be used: Akahai, Lokahi, ‘Olu‘olu, Ha‘aha‘a, and Ahonui…”

So the traits of charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawai‘i’s people can be expressed by this word Aloha. It is the philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawai‘i. The word “Akahai” means kindness to be expressed with tenderness; “Lokahi” means unity and expressed with harmony; ‘Olu‘olu” means agreeable or to be expressed with pleasantness; “Ha‘aha‘a” means humility or to be expressed with modesty; and “Ahonui” means patience and to be expressed with perseverance. Our lawmakers were wise in including the “Aloha Spirit” in our State laws.

Aloha also means ‘mutual regard and affection which extends warmth and caring with NO obligation in return. Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is very important to all persons to be able to live in collective existences…. It means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable.’

Mahalo I Ke Akua I Kēia Lā,

Trustee Leina‘ala Ahu Isa