Aloha Spirit: not just a good idea, it's the law!

We use that word a lot around here, don't we? We talk about the Aloha Spirit a fair bit too, we even put it in the F.O.M. mission statement. So, you might be wondering what we mean when we say, "Aloha!"

Let's be honest... Aloha Spirit is a bit like Tiki and if you ask five Moai how they define it you'll probably get five different answers. But as a starting point let's look at the law books. Yes, law books. You might be surprised to know that the Aloha Spirit is actually the law in Hawaii.

So, let's have a look at the Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 5. Mostly this section defines emblems and symbols like the state seal, the state tree, the state flag, etc. It also declares the "popular" name of the state as The Aloha State. Then in 1986 the legislature passed Act 186 and added section 7.5:

(?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", the following unuhi laula loa may be used:
* Akahai, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
* Lokahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
* Oluolu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
* Haahaa, 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 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.

(b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the "Aloha Spirit". (L 1986, c 202, ?1)

This philosophy filters down through all levels of government and into other public institutions. For example, in the city of Honolulu employees attend aloha spirt training classes to help them better serve the public and managers are expected to apply the aloha spirit when supervising their staff. Doesn't that sound better than your workplace rules?

The Live Aloha movement in Hawaii encourages the use of these values in every day life by improving your community through small acts of courtesy and kindness.

Keep the torches burning,

— Tagata Maori Rogorogo

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