Aloha: A Concept for Living
Most people have probably heard the Hawaiian word “aloha” as a greeting, farewell, or as a word meaning love. Actually, aloha embodies a deep and wonderful spiritual and social concept at the heart of Hawaiian culture. Saying “aloha” is nice, but understanding it and living it is even better.
In 1986, the Hawaiian State legislature passed the Aloha Spirit Law. Much of its text is worth repeating here, as it gives some real insight into the meaning of the concept:
The 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 (free translation) may be used:
Akahai, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
Lokahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
'Olu'olu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
Ha'aha'a, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
Ahonui, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii's people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii. Aloha is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. Aloha means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. Aloha means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable.
While driving around Hawaii, you might see bumper stickers that say, “Live Aloha.” Now you know what that means.
Waikiki — North
Waikiki — South
Waikele to Waikiki — North
Waikele to Waikiki — South