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True Hawaiians: Talking Story

True Hawaiians: Talking Story with Philip Wikel

I just wanted to take a moment to thank the Hawaiian people for the wonderful word “Aloha.” It has so many meanings but most importantly to me it means Love. While living on the beaches of Maui I’ve been looked out for by several different people who have shown me respect and caring in the smallest but most beautiful ways. I can find nothing more beautiful in the world than the smile on the face of a Hawaiian person. There’s a richness of color and light that emanates from their dignified and soulful faces that warms the moment like nothing else can.

And to think of after all they’ve lost, their ability to keep smiling is a wonder I’ve only witnessed elsewhere on the faces of the Irish. Both peoples have seen great hardship but instead of giving in to bitterness they turn disappointments, tragedies and turmoil into rainbows.

There’s a Hawaiian family camped not far from me and at night I listen to the song of their conversation and know that every other word is meant as “I Love You” and that they care deeply for one another though they have little of what most of us might consider creature comfort. The sound of their voices is a smile that goes on for hours. They are a people who will give until they have nothing for themselves.

It should be our mission as invaders of their land to make sure their cups never run dry and to never look upon them again in terms of “manifest destiny” as a “conquered people” but as some of our greatest teachers in the ways of kindness and caring.

Thank the mystical place called Heaven that these people might continue to walk among us and shine the light of an unrequited love on us all. Without them, I know for myself, I might never have made it through the many trials and tribulations I’ve been subjected to by those whom I had thought were my own people. They tried to surround me so that I might not see this and they tried to make me believe it no longer existed. But I kept looking and hoping to see it again and I’m happy to have found it again.

Mahalo Nui Loa, Thank you from my heart. May the warmth of the word Aloha serve to light you all through your darkest days.

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