And in Aloha our government officials shall lead us

Wouldn’t that be grand?

Wonderful serendipity this past Monday. I took a short Twitter break as I was writing up my last posting here (Aloha Training? Make it all personal), and it proved to be the perfect time to catch this tweet by fellow twitterer and blogger Capsun M. Poe:

“Heard of the ‘Aloha Spirit?’ In researching another issue, I discovered it’s codified in the HRS [Hawaii Revised Statutes, our codified state laws].”

Capsun linked to this: ( url)

“[ §5-7.5] "Aloha Spirit". (a) "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 may be used:

"Akahai", meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;

"Lokahi", meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;

"Oluolu", meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;

"Haahaa", 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.

(b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the "Aloha Spirit". [L 1986, c 202, §1].

Well, well, well. How great is that?

Purists will notice that many Hawaiian diacritical markings are missing in the pared down typeface of the web page this is taken from, however the intent and meaning of this law is perfectly clear.

And read the last paragraph again: I would be absolutely thrilled if only the word “may” were replaced with “will,” as in, “[our leaders] WILL contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the Aloha Spirit.”

I have never been too fond of the different A.L.O.H.A. acronyms which are often parroted, for I find them too formulaic and limiting for a concept of such palena ‘ole [unlimited abundance] as we know Aloha to be (as the phrase unuhi laulā loa [a broad, and open translation] alludes to.) However, I do love these first three sentences:

“‘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.”

Emote; to give expression or emotion to; to display our emotions openly (from the na‘au, our gut); to reach within to the authentic emotion which results from our “coordination of mind and heart within,” which is also a way we achieve our own self-attuned living, “[bringing] each person to the self.”

Whoever wrote these words was spot on, and I would love to learn more about the authors of this HRS; if you are reading and know more about this, please let me hear from you.

So where to start?

Same place we all do: You have to live with Aloha in your own life before you can work with it no matter what job you have. However there are certain jobs which loom large in our public consciousness, and when even the basic civility of Aloha is not demonstrated, those who hold them are an embarrassment to all of us. For after all, we elected them.

I am getting quite tired of reading stories like this one, aren’t you?

“Hannemann and Lingle have long had little love for one another… Don’t look for these two to be crossing partisan lines anytime soon.”
—Peter Boylan, Hannemann skips Lingle’s State of the State

Whatever reasons are behind it, whatever the past history, I don’t much care. I care that similar episodes have been repeated so much that we expect so little, and that we nod our heads in understanding, settling for such a horrible reputation, accomplices by means of our pitifully low standards of their behavior.

I for one, do not understand it, nor do I accept it. I expect more from them. Those who are in positions held to publicly represent us as citizens of Hawai‘i need to be better than this: They must be our shining stars in the authentic and genuine demonstration of what the Aloha Spirit is all about. We must demand excellence of them, expecting the honor, integrity, and genuine grace of Aloha, and accepting no less.

Just imagine the lawfulness…

Just imagine how much we would achieve in the biggest businesses we have, those of running our state and county governments, if every single one of our elected and appointed officials lived and worked within the nobility, dignity and respect of our Hawaiian value of Aloha daily. Wow.

So now, how do we go about getting this codified state law enforced, hm? Seems to me we have some high-profile repeat offenders running loose. What will be the consequence of their offenses?

Make no mistake about it, right now we are all paying the very hefty fines.

Let’s get Aloha into our leadership —all of it, no exceptions.

~ Originally published on Say “Alaka‘i” ~
And in Aloha our government officials shall lead us.