There are values that people of all ethnicities, living in Hawai‘i, can understand and practice. The first one is Aloha. This value is about love. How can we live without love? Closely aligned with love is compassion. There are many ways to express love and compassion in the way we live with each other. Another value is Mālama. So, if we have love and compassion, we must then care for each other. We see many reminders of how we should care for one another, especially when our community sponsors events or drives to support those who have needs that they, by themselves, can’t fulfill. I think this value leads directly into the next value I would like to cite, and that is Laulima or cooperation. Think about how your own family would not get along with cooperation, without each member caring that what they did or did not do, affected the other members.
One of the first values instilled in me, as a child, was that of Hō‘ihi or respect. Daily, as we go about our lives, isn’t respect a reality that is as close up as each person we see and greet? Respect is the foundation of how we live with one another. I know that this takes patience, which is a value in itself. My kupuna would always remind me to Ho‘omanawanui, to be patient. Patience starts with one’s self, with you, which is why I know patience is also seen as a virtue. The other day, I saw an act of generosity, by a very patient man, who was teaching perhaps, his grandchild to tie a shoe lace. This man was practicing Lokomaika‘i or generosity. He was not only patient, but generous with his time and talent and then treasured the child in his actions and heart. Which leads me to discuss what I consider to be a value that encapsulates all values; that of Pono. This value is most often defined as righteousness. Throughout our community, we see signs, actions and talk about “being pono,” about being good, fair, kind, considerate and supporting of each other.
Our way of life is defined, I believe, by these values, which were passed down to us by Native Hawaiians, who now share Hawai‘i, indeed Maui, with us. Just think of these values as “tools to live with;” to have a life and quality of life that is shared and satisfying. Yes, as Kababayan, we know how to share and be satisfied. Let’s take in these great Hawaiian values and make them our own. Look around and I think you will see that we have taken them in, probably since the time the first of us arrived here in this beautiful and rich and welcoming “Land of aloha.”
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Until next time, take care!