Saturday, September 09, 2023










Let’s not forget Kapu Aloha
If there is any time for Kapu Aloha, this is it. The fires that ravaged Lāhainā a month ago has brought out the best in us — many acts of kōkua, mālama and aloha kekahi i kekahi — as well as some unfortunate venting.

The world is watching us like never before. How we behave now, in this time of crisis, is going to speak volumes on whether the world’s sympathy and outpouring of concern for the people of Hawaiʻi is warranted.

We just celebrated the 185th birthday of our Queen Liliʻuokalani. If there was anyone who would have been justified to lash out in anger, vengeance and bitterness against those who deposed her, stole her kingdom and subjugated her people, it was her. But she maintained her composure anchored in her faith in Ke Akua Mana Loa and Kapu Aloha.

And just a few years ago, we witnessed and participated in one of the greatest outpouring of Kapu Aloha — Kū Kiaʻi Mauna. It was a situation that could have easily turned ugly, but because of the steadfast guidance of our Kūpuna who spoke, sang, chanted, prayed and counseled our people to embrace and trust in Kapu Aloha, Kū Kiaʻi Mauna became a modern-day example that Kapu Aloha works amazingly.

Let us not forget these lessons and the many more in our history and allow it to guide and inspire us in the challenging times ahead.

One of the insidious legacies of colonialism is the tendency to think like an American — in legal terms, laws, rights, contracts — rather than in human terms of caring, respect, aloha.  The American way is adversarial, trying to defeat your opponent rather than working things out through friendship and good will.

About a year ago, I was having a conversation with the Ambassador from Kiribati (our nearest neighbor to the West). He said “I don’t use the term, ‘win-win’. Instead, I use the term, ‘happy-happy’.” This means relationships should not be based on winning over or defeating someone, it should be to make both parties happy. Hence, ‘happy, happy.’ This is quite profound! This is the Pacific way.

This is what we have lost because we have been trained to think in terms of adversarial positions, where you battle things out, rather than of friendly positions, where you work things out. The whole idea of hoʻoponopono is that you work things out, you make things right (pono) between the two of you. You’re ‘happy-happy,’ both sides happy with the result.

The American colonial system is based on winning and losing, buying and selling, owning and owing, using and being used. People’s lives only matter when it serves the American system. Why not, instead of adversarial, adopting a system based on kindness and respect and helping one another? This is the way we should behave as Hawaiians, as People of the Pacific and as Human Beings.

In our efforts to restore our beloved Lāhainā as well as our beloved nation, we should not do so at the expense of our honor and our aloha.

“Love of country is deep-seated in the breast of every Hawaiian, whatever his station.” — Queen Liliʻuokalani
Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono. The sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.

For the latest news and developments about our progress at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva, tune in to Free Hawaii News at 
6 PM the first Friday of each month on ʻŌlelo Television, Channel 53. 

"And remember, for the latest updates and information about the Hawaiian Kingdom check out the twice-a-month Ke Aupuni Updates published online on Facebook and other social media."

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Malama Pono,

Leon Siu

Hawaiian National