Life is different in Hawaii. This article explains the Hawaiian philosophy of self and community.
"Now, most mainland Americans think "aloha" means "hello," "goodbye," or sometimes "love," and all of that is true. But it also means much, much more. ... When I first moved to Hawaii from the mainland, my limited understanding of aloha was summed up in a general impression of "nice-ness." "How nice everyone is here," I would say to my husband. ... People in my adopted island home talk about "driving with aloha," "speaking with aloha," and even "working out with aloha," which, according to the sign at my gym, means sharing equipment and wiping it down after use. Aloha is manifest in .... the genuine interest in others implicit in the Hawaiian tradition of engaging in friendly and personal conversation, or "talking story," over every encounter. These practices can surprise (and sometimes irritate) newcomers; after all, ... when you're in a hurry, answering the postal clerk's curious questions about the son to whom you are sending a package can be a little maddening. But these practices — and the aloha that drives them — literally force humans to connect with each other. And when you are connected with others, it's hard to follow the very human instinct to put yourself and your biological family above others. By extension, aloha connects humans with the natural world, putting individual humans into context with animals, plants, and the Earth. Over time, I began to understand just how powerful a social construct aloha really is. It is subjugating the urge to benefit oneself at risk of upsetting the delicate balance of life. It helps us get along. And on a densely populated island with an incredibly diverse population, getting along is key to survival."
Blog sharing news about geography, philosophy, world affairs, and outside-the-box learning
This blog also appears on Facebook: