Pīlahi Pākī’s translation of the meaning of aloha was the genesis of the Aloha Spirit Bill adopted by the Legislature in 1986.
The Aloha Spirit is codified in Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (the Hawai‘i Laws – HRS – Chapter 5 – 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 Hawaiʻi.
“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”.
“These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawai‘i’s people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawai‘i,” said Pīlahi Pākī.
In 1917, after Queen Lili‘uokalani had seen the end of the Hawaiian monarchy, she said to her hānai daughter, Lydia K. Aholo,
“To gain the kingdom of heaven is to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable – that is Aloha. All things in this world are two: in heaven there is but One.” (Queen Lili‘uokalani (1917))
“Aloha is the essence of God in man,” Pīlahi Pākī.
The Hawaiʻi State legislature convenes for another session tomorrow – hopefully, they heed their responsibilities, as called for in the law.
Remember, Aloha Spirit … it’s the law.