Posted in spiritual/religious

A deeper understanding of Aloha


It’s been almost a year since I moved to Hawaii. I moved last November. During this time, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about Hawaii and sharing what I’ve learned. One of the things I wanted to learn more about was the concept of the spirit of aloha. It is common knowledge that aloha can be used to say hello, goodbye, or I love you. However, there is a lot written and spoken about the spirit of aloha. As I’ve written in previous blogs, there is even a law for government workers to follow the spirit of aloha in their proceedings. Children are raised to honor the spirit of aloha, and adults practice it. Still, my heart understanding of aloha eluded me, until now.

Alo means ‘in the presence of’ and ha means ‘breath of life.’ Whenever you say aloha, you are saying you are in the presence of the breath of life. As we know from Genesis, the breath of life is from God. Thus, when you are saying aloha, you are telling the person they are in the presence of God. You are reminding them that they are connected to holiness.

For me then, saying aloha is similar to the when people say Namaste. When you bow and say namaste, you are saying to the other person, I bow to the God within you. I also believe when you say aloha, you are saying the principle of Bob Marley’s One Love –a call for unity with universal love and respect for all people despite their race, creed, or class. I’ve always enjoyed Bob Marley’s song, One Love, which reminds us

One love, one heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One love)
So shall it be in the end (One heart)
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right.

Now every time I hear or say aloha, I will think of the principle of namaste (recognizing the holiness in each other), I will also think of  Bob Marley’s One Love (loving and respecting all people despite their race, creed, or class.) It took me a little while, but I finally figured it out. What do you think?


Cite: Aloha: The Message of Hawaii by Anolia Orfreecio Facun





Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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