Ating Kabuhayan

John A.H. Tomoso +

Aunty Pilahi Paki, an acknowledged “keeper of the secrets of Hawai‘i” famously defined in 1970, a deeper understanding of the “Meaning of Aloha,” by ascribing a Hawaiian Value to each letter of the word ALOHA:A meaning Akahai, which is kindness; to be expressed with tenderness;L meaning Lokahi, which is Unity; to be expressed with harmony;O meaning ‘Olu‘olu, which is Agreeable; to be expressed with pleasantness;H meaning Ha‘aha‘a, which is Humility; to be expressed with modesty;A meaning Ahonui, which is Patience; to be expressed with perseverance.Aunty Pilahi has given us principles to live by, that have endured through the ages that now can be nurtured by us.Queen Lili‘uokalani, is famously quoted as saying in 1917, “to gain the kingdom of heaven is to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the knowable. That is Aloha. All things in this world are two. In heaven there is but one.” Native Hawaiian Authors Pono Shim and Ramsay Taum state that “a secret of ‘Aloha’ is that a person cannot do one of the principles without truly doing all and if you are not doing one, you are not doing any.”In his Foreword to the book Managing with Aloha: Bringing Hawai‘i’s Universal Values to the Art of Business, by Rosa Say, famous Native Hawaiian Navigator Nainoa Thompson, states “… there is nothing like this place we call Hawai’i… [with] values we share, as handed down from our ancestors, celebrate our people, our sense of place, and the land [islands] that sustain us and inspire us.” Navigator Thompson goes on to state that we must “… tap into the core of who we are and touch the worth of the work that we do.”In this issue, we are discussing business in our community; how we conduct business, how we relate to each other, person-to-person, neighbor-to-neighbor, colleague-to-colleague, friend-to-friend, newcomer-to-newcomer. It’s about how we respect each other! As a Priest, I can speak to the perspective that how we treat one another, can lead us to God. As a Social Worker, I can speak to the perspective that how we treat one another, can lead to success and profit. Kababayan, let us conduct our business affairs in a way that infuses the “Meaning of Aloha” in how we think, and speak, and act and relate to each other. Growing up here on Maui, I have also come to know about accountability; about how relationships on this, our island home, are made right and kept in balance. This is called “Pono.” Let’s be pono with each other. In this way we will be embodying all of Aunty Pilahi’s principle; principles that make “Aloha” living, breathing and being nurtured by who we are. It will be worth it, because it is worth the work—business—that we do!Have an idea or a comment or even a question, contact me at this email address: Until next time, take care!

John A. Hau’oli Tomoso + is a Social Worker and Episcopal Priest. He is a Priest Associate at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Wailuku and an on-call Chaplain at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Tomoso was graduated from St. Anthony Jr./ Sr. High School in Wailuku and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he met his wife Susan, who is a 7th grade Language Arts Teacher at Maui Waena Intermediate School. Tomoso received his M.S.W. from the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 1977. He retired from the civil service in our County Government, as the Maui County Executive on Aging in 2008 and is currently the Executive Director of the non-profit Tri-Isle Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. If you have any thoughts, comments or questions, you may email Tomoso at