Day 23: Ku Aloha – The Forgotten Piece of Aloha

Everyone knows or heard about Aloha . The book I wrote is called, Aloha to You , where I share my thoughts about how you must have Aloha for yourself in order to give Aloha and make a difference.

When I started the 30 Day Ku Voyage, I knew I was going to write about Aloha but didn’t know when.

I believe we can learn a lot from other cultures, especially other polynesian cultures.  In my case, the Maoris from New Zealand.

I’ve been battling with my new notion of what Aloha means to me. In Hawaii we constantly talk about the Spirit of Aloha , we preach about the Hawaiian proverb of ‘ Aloha kekahi i kekahi – Love one another unconditionally’, and taught to always be welcoming, Ho’okipa .

I still strongly believe in these things but like I learned in lua, there is always duality in things.

As I was going through old pictures, I came across my first encounter with the Maori culture.  It was at the Polynesian Culture Center after we had just done a Ho’ike with my mom’s hula studio in 1996.

I’m the little guy on the right side, in the middle with the white Aloha shirt.

In the picture above, my grandfather, the leader of the family stood Ku in front of his ʻohana.  Coming towards him were the Maori warriors with their welcoming ceremony to see what his intentions were.  To see if we were coming with good or bad intentions, if we wanted peace or war.  Either way, they were prepared and made it known that they were.

In the video below, two Maori groups are coming together as they exchange who they are and their intentions.  You can tell by the video that they are prepared to go either way.

Ku Aloha – The Forgotten Piece of Aloha

So as I battled with what Aloha means to me, I came up with Ku Aloha.

In many texts, the Native Hawaiians are described as ‘gentle natured people living in deep spirituality with the land’.  I would agree, but the other side of me feels Hawaiians may be gentle natured but they hold a warrior spirit.  But then there is all this talking about embracing the Spirit of Aloha, always be welcoming and to show Aloha, and a lot of other flowery jolly-feel-good things.

But I believe what has been forgotten is that you must see what a person’s intention is when you do offer your Aloha.

Say you give Aloha and welcome someone in, but they are disrespectful and unappreciative.  The Spirit of Aloha, we hear a lot about today would want you to still give Aloha because that is what Hawaiians do.

Mai ho ‘oni i ka wai lana mālie.

Do not disturb the water that is tranquil.

The proverb above, is a core value of my life.  It is what I stand for. Ku Aloha is about showing love for the people and things that mean most to you by also being open to share what you have to offer.  If someone doesn’t appreciate your love and comes to you with bad intentions, then you must be able to be Ku.  You must be able to show the person the door or stop giving them Aloha, because they are only sucking the life source out of you.

Aloha for many is all about giving. To give all you have and love everyone.  But guess what, it takes a lot of energy from you when you waste it on those who don’t appreciate your Aloha.  That means they have only come to take from you, and that’s all.

So Ku Aloha, is an attitude that I’ve always had but only now am I realizing it.  It’s something that I’m still reflecting on but here’s a good way to put it.

Say you spend all this time cooking a meal for people to come over.  A relative is bringing two friends over, whom you haven’t met yet.  You want to make it a special dinner, so you take all day preparing the food, cooking it, and setting the table.  Your relative comes in with the friends, you greet them at the door smiling but they don’t smile back, and then welcome them into your home.  You offer them a beer, but you don’t have the one they like so they’ll take water. When you get ready to eat dinner, the two friends make a comment how the food doesn’t look appetizing and isn’t to their liking.

Ku Aloha.

What are you thoughts on Ku Aloha? Do you think Aloha is only seen in one light?


Go back to Day 22

  • Karalyn Schultz

    I agree with this 110%. Let none disturb thee tranquil water and all the same, let none disturb the aloha within. Very good points made. Tough love is very much a significant part of Aloha – Ku Aloha.

  • Danny Aipa

    Thanks for reading Karalyn. I think Aloha has been overly used and it’s important we be strong in how we share and who we give our Aloha to.