I’ve had several reminders lately, of how good it can be to return to one’s basic essentials, and the clear intention of sharing the spirit of Aloha is unquestionably one of mine; it feels good and right to bring 2019 to it’s conclusion with ALOHA as our Ho‘ohana Community value immersion for the months of November and December.
Kaʻana i kāu aloha: Share your Aloha
As we grow in our careers, we tend to seek a certain sophistication in our explorations of new learning. We strive for better and for different to change things up, and to simply feel like we are growing, and we aren’t resting on our laurels.
There’s a big difference however, between resting on your laurels and reaffirming the basic values and beliefs which got you to where you are, especially when those values and beliefs were foundational, and remain so critically essential to your Ho‘ohana, your intention for worthwhile work, and for earning your keep in life in the best possible way (‘Imi ola: We are meant to be Seekers).
In Managing with Aloha as my personal and professional philosophy, Ka‘ana like Aloha—Sharing Aloha—is the essential nature of my “basic value and belief.” Sharing Aloha is the reason you will often hear me talk about intention.
With the benefit of hindsight as 20-20, a lifetime living in Hawai’i studying our sense of place and values, and my ahem, advanced age (someone introduced me as “Kupuna Rosa Say” recently, and I must admit it startled me) this is what I can clearly see:
Every time we have societal challenges here—and we’re in one now with the Maunakea movement spreading fear into other developmental advancements—some try to ‘protect Aloha’ instead of doing what the value itself implores us to do: share Aloha.
I gained this clarity of understanding for the first time in 1989 when I studied the organizational dynamics of hospitality in our islands with Dr. George Kanahele—I had already lived my native-to-Hawai‘i life for 35 years! As I wrote in my book, “Aloha was just a background color of sorts” then, and I didn’t even think of it as a belief or conviction.
What I learned beyond Aloha’s definition as a value, was that Aloha is unconditionally connected to, and essential for Ho‘okipa, the value of hospitality as complete giving. It therefore follows—it undeniably, and unquestionably follows—that Aloha is meant to be shared, even with strangers.
Aloha is meant to be shared—I cannot say it, remind myself to do it, and ask for it from every single person I can, whether they live in Hawai‘i or not, for they are of Aloha and with Aloha too.
Aloha is meant to be shared with people who do not agree with you most of all. Without the sharing of Aloha, your disagreements cannot be reconciled and healed, so that everyone involved can move on in the best possible way, that is, with their spirit completely intact, and ready to be shared with the very next person they encounter.
The second essential understanding of Aloha clarity I received from Dr. Kanahele, was that Aloha and business DO mix well, mix honorably, and mix with magnificent results for people—IF we work our businesses that way, in the ways of sharing Aloha, and being Mea Ho‘okipa as our mana‘o: be the good host. It’s all on us as individuals of Aloha, and no matter what other forces are at play.
We learned this in the Hawaiian Renaissance of the 1970s. We learned this in the aftermath of 911, when Hawai‘i begged for more tourism to get our economy back on the road to better economic health (see Chapter 5 in Managing with Aloha on Kūlia i ka nu‘u). We learned this in the downturns and backward steps of the Great Recession of 2008, when we wondered how our youth could possibly make any strides in American life without a single job to be found.
We must learn this now too, in the disgruntled and fearful shadows of the Maunakea-inspired ‘protection’ movements, and wherever we in business are tip-toeing through eggshells, and being hesitant when we should be the Alaka‘i Managers who lead. If there was ever a time for us reaffirm Aloha, Ho‘okipa, and how both inform the Aloha Spirit of our sense of place here in Hawai‘i, it’s now (RFL: A Serenity Prayer for Maunakea).
If we are to “protect” something, let’s protect these points of ALOHA clarity by demonstrating them better than we ever have before:
—Aloha is meant to be shared.
—Aloha and business CAN and DO mix. Be the good host.
—It’s all on us as the Mea Ho‘okipa of Aloha we are meant to be.
Will you do this with me, please? We are more than capable. We are Aloha.
I humbly ask to you visit these reminders in the Managing with Aloha blog archives:
- Our Beautiful Basics. “The beautiful basic of Managing with Aloha is living a good life with great work. That’s what I wish for you in every single day to come.”
- What is the Aloha Spirit? It’s you! “This is a belief a person can choose to have: You need not be of Hawaiian blood or ancestry to believe in the goodness inherent in humanity.”
- The Language of We. “A different language is a different vision of life.”— Federico Fellini
- A Stranger Only For A Day and “The Temporary Guest.” Ho‘okipa hospitality is not just welcoming a guest TO your place, it’s welcoming them IN to your place.
- Ho‘okipa, the Value of Complete Giving “ Identify your Mea Ho‘okipa, employ them well, so they radiate their joy, and allow them to teach you.”
…and in case you have not read it yet, The Aloha Spirit in Business at Ke Ola Magazine, our value immersion for November and December.
Strong values are not just those beliefs and convictions you already have. They also represent goals and objectives, as the values you want to grow into. Grow into them in foundational, back to your basics way—you know what to do.