Mahalo and Giving

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone the Christmas bombardment has begun in full force. I’m sure you’ve noticed it too.

Holiday trimmings seemed to have sprung up overnight, and most radio stations have dusted off the jewel cases of their holiday CDs so we can all begin to sing along with the Christmas classics. Current talk on most television news channels has been about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and whether or not retailers have destroyed their previous sales records with the upturn in the economy.

My oh my. Thanksgiving passes much too quickly.

Before the calendar turns to a new month, I ask you to help me keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive and well all year long. Keep thoughts of Mahalo close to you, and learn to live in thankfulness for all the gifts you have been given. Use your gifts to give to others in this holiday season and every day to come.

The gifts I am referring to don’t come off a store shelf. They aren’t bundled in tissue paper, candy-cane colored wrapping and velvet bows. You needn’t shop around for them, because you already have them in good supply. They are …

– your Values

– your Strengths

– your Talents, Skills, and Knowledge

– your Mana‘o (your deeply held beliefs and convictions),

– your Source and your Truth (nānā i ke kumu)

– your Genius (mahalo nui Dick for helping us understand this)

– your Purpose (your ho‘ohana)

– your Love for others and the desire you have to share yourself with them (your aloha)
– your Capacity (physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual)

– your Intention. For good, for better, and for the best possible.

Mmmmm. I feel rich; don’t you?

When you wish to give a meaningful gift to others, these are the things unique to you which make up a much more valuable kind of currency. This is the currency of your personal wealth and wellbeing, your abundance.

You have an incredible amount to give.

Mahalo. Thank you, as a way of living.

Live in thankfulness for the richness within you which makes life so precious.

Celebrate your own gifts by giving of them to others.
Managing with Aloha

Related posts:

Mahalo; We give thanks. Our November Ho‘ohana.

A Mahalo 3by3: Appreciation, Gratitude, Thankfulness.
What it means to “Look to Your Source.”
Strengths, Values, and that Pyramid.


  1. says

    Rosa — a wonderful post. Thank you. Again and again our cultural and spiritual traditions remind us that our gifts have been given to us to share with others. This notion appeared everywhere that I looked when searching for the face of genius in human history.
    The beliefs of the Dagara people of West Africa are among the most eloquent expression of this. When a Dagara woman becomes pregnant, ceremonies are held in which the fetus is asked to reveal the gift that it is bringing to the community. The community then takes responsibility for nurturing the gift, believing that if the gift dies the person will die as well and the community will be robbed of something it needs. Lovely, yes?
    It seems that sharing our gift is not merely a good thing to do, but a necessity. James Hillman said this best. He used the Greek term “daimon”, rather than the Latin “genius” and warned, “Don’t dis the daimon.”
    I suspect that this business of sharing our gift is true for all of the gifts you mention. In the tradition of the I Ching, the only sin is not being true to yourself, because that self is what you, by necessity, must give.

  2. says

    Aloha Dick, thank you for adding to my post as wonderfully as you have.
    In Hawaii there are very elaborate celebrations surrounding the birth of a child as well; and it is not uncommon for people to spend more at the first year birthday lÅ«‘au (feast) for their children than was invested in their wedding. In fact, many feel that the story of the birth of the Christ Child may be the primary reason missionaries were so successful so quickly in bringing Christianity to the islands; it made so much sense in the Hawaiian culture, for children are associated with all the many gifts of life.
    I cannot help but marvel at the universal beliefs that bind all of humanity as diverse our cultures may be in other ways, and as geographically disconnected as we can be. The semantics of the discussions on values versus principles versus belief become more irrelevant as our differences blur in evidence of our similarities. In this holiday season I also like the thought that we are all blessed with grace and virtue as well: For me, it is a comforting and optimistic feeling, one I revel in.

  3. says

    @ our differences blur in evidence of our similarities
    This becomes more and more clear to me almost daily (and remember, I am about Creating Clarity). I am on the verge of a conviction that human conflict is largely about ego-driven fear and/or pride (which may in fact be the same thing). And that if we can strip that away and seek the “evidence of our similarities”, then we will all be much better off.
    Lately, I bristle whenever I hear the term “managing diversity.” I’d rather we learn to “leverage diversity” which begins with respecting it from a position of unity at our deeper levels.

  4. says

    Ah Dick, you are talking about the Kākou and Lōkahi of Managing with Aloha! I like your phrase “leverage diversity” for these two Hawaiian (and universal) values teach about the collaborative synergy which is the result of valuing differences and harnessing strength. In fact, we can harness this strength precisely because we are not all the same in talent (or in our genius :-) but can be unified (ho‘olōkahi) in intent and purpose.
    The analogy we most often use is with the wa‘a, the Hawaiian outrigger canoe, and the Lesson of the Six Seats. Something that sounds as simple as taking one of six available seats is actually the well-managed result of unifying similarities and combining essential differences in a line-up of the best possible pattern.
    -Kākou: It takes the harmonious, disciplined stroke of all six paddlers together to make the canoe surge through the surf with the least amount of effort, reserving the power of each individual’s strength when it is most needed.
    – Lōkahi: At the moment of perfect harmony among the paddlers, at that defining moment of their achieved unity, the outrigger float actually skips over the surface of the water with joy, and the canoe surges forward with incredible speed, momentum — and grace.
    A thing of beauty indeed.
    For me, the “managing” matters. It factors very heavily into my own genius. During my upcoming sabbatical I will dive into all the exercises of your new book so I can be happy with the exact name for my genius in English versus in my Hawaiian kaona. (Kaona – hidden meaning, i.e. great meaning in very few words.)