Oct 122012
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hawaiian hospitality

Aipa 'ohana making laulau for family and friends

It’s sharing a smile with a stranger.

It’s offering a hand to others and extending the best we have to give.

No matter where you are or who you are with, it is important to welcome others with the spirit of Aloha.

This sort of welcoming is known as Ho’okipa – the Hawaiian-Style Hospitality.  If you know someone from Hawaii or have been there, you would agree the Hawaii people are very friendly and gracious. The overall essence has a nalu feeling.

But what exactly is Hawaiian-Style Hospitality? What’s the difference?

My family is all about ho’okipa. I’m all about ho’okipa.

It’s a simple but powerful gesture one can give another or many.  I remember calling my brother, Isaiah, one day and he informed me my parents offered three visitors from Ohio to stay over at our house.  At first, I was thinking - They are crazy, we don’t even know them.  What are my parents thinking?

But when I took a step back, I understood.  My parents welcomed them with open arms and took them in as if they were family.  Of course my mom took them on the house tour to meet all the animals, and they took a lot of interest in my dad’s work in the garden.  One even gave him a tip to plant his corn in a straight line so that when the wind blew the pollen would more likely go over to the next one.

I called my mom and she went on and on about all the things they were doing for them.  They even stayed in my room for the night.  Well more like the guest room now.

So what’s the difference? Attitude.

Ho’okipa, to me, is one of the most important values my family raised me on.  But it’s not just a value we live by, it’s an Attitude that we embrace.  Hospitality is a universal thing and within all of us.  But it’s the acceptance and willingness to be of service and to be on a mission to benefit others.

The Hawaiian-style of hospitality is unique and very special.  I’m sure the three young women who stayed with my parents will forever remember the family who took them in as one of their own in Hawaii and showed them ho’okipa.

How does it bring meaning to your life?

One of the best ways to bring meaning to your life is by showing others they really matter. You make them feel they have a purpose.  Remember, you receive back what you give out willingly.  It may not come to you immediately but that’s not why we contribute our time, skills, anecdotes, or stories.  Part of living meaningful, fulfilling, and happy life is about giving as much as you can without the expectation of anything in return.

If you give with the expectancy of getting an immediate return you will never be happy. You will end up always feeling like someone owes you something.

Here are several more ways how Ho’okipa will bring meaning to your life:

  1. Allows you to share the spirit of Aloha.
  2. Others will want to be around you because of your attitude.
  3. You will create meaningful relationships.
  4. You will make a strong impact on people’s lives and they will thank you for it.
  5. You will become Manao’i'o (confident).
  6. Your attitude will inspire others to be ho’okipa.
  7. Your mana account will increase.
  8. You will be filled with more optimism and positivity.  You can never have enough of those two.

So now when you come across others, greet them with a smile. Don’t just ask “How are you?” without really wanting to know.  Take a moment to compliment them and make them smile.

When you are around a group, be the one that brings light to the room. Aloha is so contagious and the Hawaiian-style hospitality, ho’okipa, is the best way to send the message.

Mahalo. Aloha. A hui hou.

Mahalo for taking the time to read my blog. I really appreciate it! Please take a few seconds to share this with others by clicking on any of the buttons in the Sharebar on your left.  Aloha.

  4 Responses to “How Hospitality Can Bring Meaning to Your Life”

  1. Great post. I like that you expand the notion of hospitality beyond the traditional idea of something one does at home into something that one takes out into the world with them.

  2. This is a good post. It made me reflect on some things. I’ve been wanting to go to Hawaii not just for its tropical paradise schmoze, but seeing how movies depict the place as a hospitable, friendly, and not to mention fun environment, (ah and the ukuleles!!!) and then this post, it makes me believe that there are places in this world that still care for other people.

  3. Aloha Denise! I highly recommend taking some vacation time to visit the islands. You won’t regret it. I still have to get you that ukulele video for everyone at Asymmetrical Community, or maybe it’ll be a blog post. Aloha!

  4. Mahalo Eve. It’s always important to take home with you everywhere you go. Since I live away from the islands, I make sure to keep the spirit of Aloha with me every where I go.

    Mahalo and Aloha.

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