Lokomaika’i is the Hawaiian value of acting with kindness and generosity in all situations.
It takes courage to be kind in a pandemic, when tensions are high and feelings are low.
I want to share some Olelo No’eau, our Hawaiian Proverbs surrounding kindness as an antidote to the anger, frustration and upset you may find in the world around you.
This book, written by Mary Kawena Pukui, is a treasured book of Hawaiian proverbs. In it you will find gems like:
A’ohe lokomaika’i i nele i ke pana ‘i
No kind deed has ever lacked its reward.
When we extend our Mana, personal power, in kindness without expecting anything in return, we trigger a ripple effect of Aloha. There is an energetic going out, it gains momentum and returns to us.
The reward isn’t always obvious, but have you noticed it just feels good to be kind, to be generous?
Kindness is the act of showing concern about the well-being and feelings of others; it is a quality of being warm-hearted, considerate.
Ua ola no i ka pane a ke aloha
There is life in a kindly reply
If there is negativity coming in your direction and you have the courage to respond with kindness, you bring vitality, mana, to the situation.
Kindness in Action
My co-worker recently told me she had an incident where she accidentally cut someone off as she was changing lanes. The person behind her sped up and came up even with her car.
She looked to the left and saw the driver, scowling. It took some courage, but she turned to look at them, mouthed sorry and put her hands up to make a heart shape.
Even though the person was in a rage, the energy shifted and the driver nodded in understanding went on their way.
Sometimes, it takes courage to be kind, especially when you feel hostility from the other party.
Here are a few more ways to show kindness in everyday life.
- Reply positively to posts that resonate with you on social media: I love it when students respond to my videos and posts with their own insights, responses and questions. It feels good to be seen and heard.
- Acknowledge great service: our small businesses are relying on the support of our community to stay open and continue giving amazing service. Say thank you. Write a review. Tell a friend. This is a kindness that could make a person’s day!
- Give a compliment. Make a habit of noticing something that is going well, what you like and why. Be specific. It’s a free and easy way to spread positivity.
- Ask and Listen. Listening with your full attention is the best gift you can give anyone. When strangers are behind masks, it’s easy to think they don’t exist. Show you care by asking, “How is your day going?” and taking a moment to listen to the answer. You never know what you will discover in those precious moments.
- Make eye contact. This is a little easier to do right now because it’s the only part of the face we can see when we are out and about. “I see you” can be a potent gift.
- Talk story with an elder. I can see so much joy on the faces of Elders when we talk story with them.
One of our kupuna, Auntie Bernadine Mayo, came to class during our Lomi Lomi month-long immersion, and my son La’au came by to say hello.
A while later, I looked over and I saw him sitting with Auntie. He was so animated, and I could tell they were really enjoying each other.
Later he said, “Mom, she had so many stories! When is auntie coming again?”
Our Elders have a lifetime wealth of knowledge to share. All you have to do is ask.
- Connect with your co-workers: It’s easy to get familiar with the people we work with, but do you really know how they are doing? Maybe it’s time to ask, “How are you?” and spend a moment really listening to the answer. Kindness creates connection.
- “You go first”: Let someone move into your lane on the highway, invite someone to step in front of you in line. If you see someone that’s anxious about crowded spaces, move aside to let them through. It feels really good to allow that anxious energy to pass by.
- Be generous: My sister and brother-in-law started an anniversary tradition early on in their marriage.
They were young and broke, but very much in love. One day, they had decided to spend the last $20 they had to split a meal at a local restaurant.
They took their time, considering what to order and literally counting the pennies to make sure they had enough.
After the meal, they asked the waiter for the check and were surprised to hear, “There is no bill. It’s already been paid for.”
Shocked, the couple asked, “Who paid it?”
“That man over there…oh, I guess he left already. I thought you knew him?”
No. They didn’t. But that small kindness left such an impression, they decided to repeat the action every year on their anniversary for over a decade.
It’s been 10 years since her husband passed, and my sister still goes out with her kids on that anniversary to find a young couple and pay their bill. The waiters are sworn to secrecy, so the couple never finds out.
The family looks forward to this act of kindness all year!
- Share what you have: Maybe you have a fruit tree with more produce than you can eat or an extra roll of toilet paper to share. Don’t have anything? Smile. It’s free and it can still make someone’s day.
- Give Lomi. Hawaiian massage is the ultimate act of kindness.
When students come to class, we always have a community clinic to give back to the native Hawaiians here on Maui.
I’ve had aunties get off the table and say, “Wow, I feel so good. This morning I was really mean to my daughter. I don’t know why I was acting that way, but now I’m just feeling sogood. The energy I gave off before just doesn’t feel right anymore, I need to go ho’oponopono and make things right.
Giving aloha is like a ripple effect. It goes out it and gets paid forward again and again. Over time, it literally begins to wrap around the globe.
What small act of kindness can you share with the world today? Write it in the comments below and let’s start a ripple effect of Aloha.
See you next week!