Hawaii is a major tourism destination, and in Honolulu, a tourist experience is definitely what it’s all about. However, when I ventured away from Waikiki Beach, the real Hawaii began to reveal herself to me. I discovered a slower speed of living, a quiet grace, and inevitably I experienced the sacredness of the Hawaiian Aloha.
The Hawaiian Aloha – Not just a word, but a way of living
Aloha. This native Hawaiian word is rooted in “alo”, meaning presence or face, and “ha”, meaning breath. Aloha is most commonly used for both hello and goodbye. However, this word runs much deeper than these superficial meanings. In the Hawaiian culture, words express “mana” (pronounced: mah’nah, meaning spiritual or divine power), and aloha is among the most sacred. Aloha is a greeting of love when expressed with sincerity.
Hawaiians and haoles alike embrace aloha. (Haole is the Hawaiian term for anyone not native Hawaiian or Polynesian.) The culture collectively practices the spirit of aloha in daily life and human interaction. The essence of Hawaii tends to pull one back to the basics of life. That is, the beauty of nature, and what is important between human beings.
Your words have great power
Aloha typifies the power of our language, and how we affect other people with it. Words are potent, therefore it behooves us to choose and use them wisely. In this confused and too-often-angry world, sometimes we feel powerless to effect positive change. However our words, over which we have sole control, are one way we can do that.
Aloha. Change the world.
Photo courtesy Pixabay, Pexels
The Sacred Hawaiian Aloha © Susan L Hart