In Hawaii we locals often use the term live aloha. This may be unfamiliar for individuals with little background knowledge of our island culture, however in our social and political atmosphere this term has tremendous value. Our nation continues to witness social change on a mass level spurred by the death of George Floyd. There has been increased awareness as well as on-going conversations between law enforcement, government leaders and community stakeholders in all states. Not only has police reform been taking place at an astronomical pace but there is also heightened awareness amongst industry professionals of the Black Lives Movement and how this continued presence will continue to affect us all moving forward.
What about me? What can I do as an MPACE member to affect positive change in my community? We can all make a difference in the lives of others simply by embracing the concept of living aloha. Here is a quick breakdown on how to live aloha.
Be humble, no grumble. Practice humility with those around you. Be slow to anger but quick to praise the positive actions of others. Learn to look for the positive things in others and recognize those accomplishments. Hawaii is a diverse state, a big melting pot of different ethnicities, perspectives and ideas. Instead of viewing new concepts as challenges to the status quo we seek to incorporate them into our own thus adding value to our cultural diversity.
Aloha does not imply weakness. Aloha has multiple meanings besides “hello” or “goodbye”. Aloha also means love, kindness and patience. But aloha is not for the timid. It also means being persistent in the face of adversity. True change comes with time, patience and yes even some struggles. The Native Hawaiian community for many years suffered many injustices from lost land as well as a disconnection to its rich past. In recent years however, the Hawaiian community has made tremendous progress both culturally and politically with a resurgence of the Hawaiian language in both the collegiate environment and through immersion school facilities. Was this accomplished overnight? No. It took many years and the momentum continues to this day.
We have a long way to go in creating and appreciating cultural diversity in our communities. It will not be easy and unfortunately it cost a person his life. At least we are having these conversations now. Until then, we should all strive to live aloha.
By Ryan Tin Loy, Senior Career Advisor, Hawaii Pacific University