What makes Hawaii Hawaii?

As 2017 comes to a close, we like to take a moment to reflect on the things that matter most.

This year has been hard on a lot of people, and in many ways. There has been a great deal of uncertainty, fear and instability everywhere.

Hawaii may be the most physically isolated place on Earth, but our people are conscious of the burdens felt around the country and the world.

That one thing…

There’s one thing about Hawaii that seems to be different from the rest of the world. It’s a spirit that prevails whether times are good or bad, a spirit that’s been here long before Captain Cook landed his ships, before neighborhoods and hotels and shopping malls were built, before multi-million dollar industries came to do business.

Yes, I’m talking about the aloha spirit.

The aloha spirit in Hawaii is perpetuated by two things — the ʻĀina (the land) and the people.

If you think about it, nearly every human on Earth is naturally drawn to Hawaii. It is a place of unthinkable beauty, perfect climate and sacred space.

Hawaii heals and nurtures our bodies, minds and spirits. Because of this, people who visit or live here are gifted with an extra boost of positive life energy, which we call aloha.

Those of us who cultivate aloha as a daily practice or way of life can be said to have the aloha spirit.

The practice of aloha

There is no one way to describe aloha spirit, but one word that comes to mind is love. In practice, aloha can be translated to thoughts and acts of kindness, forgiveness and non-judgement.

These acts can manifest in the smallest of gestures — such as smiling at someone who appears lonely, or holding open a door for a stranger, or giving your last $2 to tip the rental car shuttle driver at the airport.

The practice of aloha also extends to the land around us. Since Hawaii is so nurturing to our life, we have to nurture it back with our aloha. It’s as simple as respecting the land and ocean, as well as the plants and living creatures. Regard them as sacred and they will do the same for you!

The power of aloha

Of course, like anywhere or anything in life — there is going to be tension and suffering. In Hawaii, that tension is between modernization and simplicity.

Many people here resent the development and gentrification of towns, neighborhoods and streets — they prefer to keep it simple like they remember from their childhoods. Other people support modernization, as it bring jobs, opportunity and a feeling of being more connected to the world. Most people have mixed feelings.

The modernization of Hawaii is not going to stop any time soon, if ever. The one thing that can always grow without debate, however, is our aloha spirit.

Everyone, including you, has access to the aloha spirit, especially when you’re in Hawaii — but you have to be open to receiving it.

After all, anyone can buy a ticket to Hawaii, rent a car and hotel room, go to a luau and take pictures to share on social media. But if you go beyond those basics and seek aloha, you’ll definitely find it — everywhere. Once you feel it, you share it. And once you share it, other people share it, and so on.

So go ahead — ask anyone who truly adores Hawaii (this could be you) and they will inevitably tell you that beyond the natural stunning beauty, the beaches and waterfalls, the lush green valleys and year-round sultry weather — there’s something very special here, a feeling of simple goodness. The aloha spirit.

And that’s what makes Hawaii Hawaii.

***
Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at info@sunnymauivacations.com or call 808-240-1311, ext. 21. We’ll find you the best vacation rental condo in South Maui and help you with any and all recommendations and activities across Maui (chat with our in-house Concierge at extension 71).

 

Photo credits: Sarah HumerKristen SturdivantRina MieleJeremy BishopMatthew Hammond, mattchamplinFilios Sazeides

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