Image how wonderful your world would be if everyone shared the Aloha Spirit once a day. You’d feel giddy inside knowing you helped make someone’s day a little bit brighter with minimal effort. That’s real magic.
Hawaiians are known for their generosity, hospitality and warm sharing. This giving nature is grounded in the principle of reciprocity frequently labeled as the Aloha Spirit.* The following real life aloha excerpt is one of more than 50 colorful, touching and humorous personal stories from Kauai Stories – a finalist in 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
Aloha with Your Newspaper
By Lincoln Henry Gill
One Sunday morning I cut down a large stalk of bananas from one of our trees. It was huge, about 120 bananas, far more than we could eat ourselves or freeze to use later. I split the bananas into smaller bunches and placed them in a box where our driveway meets the street. I attached a sign to the box announcing they were “FREE!”
Throughout that day, I looked out my window and smiled as people drove by, helping themselves to bunches of bananas. I love how people on Kauai share their extra fruit. We are fortunate that our trees produce more than enough to give away. By the end of the day there were still a couple of bunches remaining. I left the box on the side of the road in case anyone coming home from the night shift of work wanted some.
The next morning, when I put my hand into our narrow, bright green plastic daily newspaper receptacle, I got a surprise. There was a package with a note. Inside the package I found six small loaves of freshly baked banana bread. The note read, “This is in appreciation for the bananas which you shared last night. Enjoy! Signed, your Garden Island newspaper carriers, Robert and Winona Romero.”
The banana bread was absolutely delicious, with walnuts and small bits of fresh coconut. With every bite I kept thinking, “How thoughtful of them.” The aloha spirit makes you want to pass it on.
This true story reminds me of a Hawaiian proverb:
Proverb: `A`ohe lokomaika`i i nele i ke pâna`i
Translation: No kind deed has ever lacked its reward.
Interpretation: Give back in equal measure or more, be it a gift or a smile.
*The literal meaning of aloha is “the presence of breath” or “the breath of life.” It comes from “Alo,” meaning presence, front and face, and “ha,” meaning breath. Aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect. Its deep meaning starts by teaching ourselves to love our own beings first and afterwards to spread the love to others.
[Photo caption: Gardenia and note left with daily newspaper by The Garden Island newspaper carriers Robert and Winona Garcia days after they left freshly baked banana bread. Photo by Lincoln Henry Gill]
Your turn: What’s your favorite local Aloha Spirit story?