It's a burning question for our patients – "Why Aloha?" We'll explore the answer in a series of blog posts, but let's start with a simple definition.
At it's most basic, Aloha is used as a salutation to say "Hello" and "Good-bye." You hear it as soon as you step off the plane when you land on one of the Hawaiian islands and it immediately conjures up images of beaches and mai tais. In the Hawaiian language, it carries deeper meanings such as means love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, kindness, grace and charity.
But these are just objective definitions and somewhat sterile descriptions.
In his article, "Aloha: A Concept for Living," Dr. Donald P. Ryan explains:
The 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 (free translation) may be used:
A: Akahai, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
L: Lokahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
O: 'Olu'olu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
H: Ha'aha'a, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
A: 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.
May you find ways to fill your life with Aloha today.