The plane has landed; you gather your overhead items and exit the plane.  As you come out of the jet bridge a local greets you with a Lei and the words of “Aloha”. You’ve just experienced the “Aloha” that many people are first exposed to when visiting “Hawai’i”.

If you have ever been to the Hawaiian Islands you’ve heard the word “Aloha.”  To the Hawaiian people, “Aloha” is more than just a word; it’s a way of life, which we call “Living with Aloha” or the “Spirit of Aloha”.  The word “Aloha” when broken down is “Alo” (presence, front, face) and “ha” (breath of life, essence of life). For the people living in Hawai’i, “Aloha” has many meanings such as love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, kindness or grace.

“Living with Aloha” or “Aloha Spirit” is an integral part of the Hawaiian people.  It’s so important that there is a state statute created called “The Law of Aloha”.

§ 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“, and the following unuhi laulā loa may be used:

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.

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 Hawai’i.  “Aloha” is more than a word of greeting, farewell or 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.

I encourage you to “Live with Aloha” and to share the “Aloha Spirit” today.