The Spirit of Aloha
“Aloha is the word used to say both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in Hawaiian, but it means much more than just a simple salutation – aloha is a way of life.”
Aloha is a beautiful word with a very complex meaning. Many may know it as a greeting, or farewell or a salutation. Aloha is the word used to say both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in Hawaiian, but it means much more than just a simple salutation — aloha is a way of life.
By definition of the Hawaiian Spirit Law, “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. It 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.
Akahai, meaning kindness, to be expressed with tenderness;
Lōkahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
ʻOluʻolu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
Haʻahaʻa, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
Ahonui, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
Philahi Paki, a great Hawaiian philosopher spoke of aloha not only as a definition, but as a legacy of Hawaii and its ancestors. Aloha embodies deeply held Hawaiian cultural beliefs about community, peace, spiritual truth, and expresses Hawaii’s hopes for a harmonious future that extends to the whole world.
The late Haleaka Iolani Pule, a teacher of Hawaiian spirituality, described aloha as “our innate sense to love things unconditionally… It’s a symbiotic relationship and the acknowledgement of that symbiotic relationship that you have with everything in the universe around you and recognizing exactly your space within it.”
You will know the spirit of aloha when you feel it. It is a life force, a moral code, an expression of love and a connection to nature.
One can live life with more aloha by following the 5 guidelines below:
- Value and spend time in nature
- Live in the present moment – and appreciate it
- Cultivate meaningful connections
- Choose to see the good
- Love always
We will expand those 5 ways in a later blog, so keep an eye out! As you can see, aloha is a beautiful word with a very complex meaning — but not too long ago the Hawaiian language was almost lost to the world. Hawaiian is one of the official languages of Hawaii, but in 1990, only a handful of Hawaiian speakers remained. Thanks to the rise of Hawaiian-language immersion schools and a focus on revitalizing the language, the number of native speakers is slowly Rising.
It is important to follow the spirit of aloha in your daily life. You will know the spirit of aloha when you feel it. Those who live in Hawaii know the idea well, and it is one of the state’s unique characteristics that keeps people from all walks of life coming to the islands again and again.
Maui Snorkeling Spirit of Aloha Blog Resources: