I was at a seminar the other day where someone told me that the definition of aloha was in the Hawaii State Constitution. So, inquisitive me decided to do a little research. I googled the Hawaii State Constitution and found nothing to the fact. Lucky for me, there was a link to an email address of a librarian for state records. Ding, ding, ding, ding. I hit pay dirt. Go to the source direct. Within a few minutes I was sent to what was a link to the Hawaii Revised Statues. Sounds pretty law-like to me. Shout out to Karen, the head research librarian at the Legislative Reference Bureau. The term “Aloha” is not defined, but rather “Aloha Spirit.”
Section 5-7.5 states:
“‘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.”
A “Akahai” meaning kindness, to be expressed with tenderness
L “Lokahi” meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony
O “Oluolu” meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness
H “Haahaa” meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty
A “Ahonui” meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance
(Wow, I gotta work on that last A)
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.
Wow, that is major stuff. I hear so many say “Aloha” instead of hello or good bye, but do we really know what it means to say “Aloha?” It is easier to find “Aloha” living on the islands but the gift is when we know what it means. Think about this next time you say it.