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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Aloha - & the Angry Birds


Last week, I was driving with the kids in the back of the van, but instead of laughter (or tears) all I heard were “angry birds” being hurled from one end of my smart phone to the other.

If you haven’t discovered the “Angry Birds” app yet – enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts…

Situated second in line at a quiet traffic light near our home, I gave my son the usual two-minute warning that I’d be taking the “electronic pacifier” as soon as we pulled into the garage.

Head down, no response - no surprise - our eldest has already won the 2011 award for "selective hearing."

I was about to repeat myself when more angry birds hit something and an awaited bonus was awarded. Instead of Braveheart’s sword lifted in victory, my son held aloft a pink-encased Motorola phone (my wife's, I hasten to add.)

“Look, Papa!” was followed by a huge smile that warmed the cockles of my heart to no end.

“Good job, buddy,” I said to my son who continued to beam at me from the rear view mirror. Dropping my eyes, I was immediately slighted when the sedan in front of me didn’t screech away at a high rate of speed as soon as the green showed up for work.

The driver didn’t move for at least several seconds, but when he (or she) realized the light had changed, a hand popped up to wave its apology just as my right hand headed toward the horn – and it was then that my inner voice said “Hang on, what about the aloha spirit?”

“The aloha spirit?”

“Yes, the aloha spirit, where one realizes we’re living on an island paradise and things happen on Hawaii time and honking on the horn is a big no-no.”

I’m a stay-at-home dad with little adult interaction between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. so chatting to myself out loud isn't that big of a deal – it’s the petty arguments that bother me.

Needing a little more clarification, I looked into the meaning of aloha, and here’s what I found in a posted article at http://www.to-hawaii.com/

“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.

Aloha is a Hawaiian symbol. Its meaning goes beyond any definition you can find about it in the dictionaries. In Hawaii, you hear aloha all the time and you are treated with aloha everywhere.”

That is indeed correct. Upon checking the O'ahu Yellow Pages, I found it comforting to know I could learn a little culture at Aloha Ukulele while working for the Aloha Wedding Planners and should I ever get into trouble for mumbling to myself, it’s nice to know that someone from Aloha Legal Services or Aloha Bail Bonds will be there to help.

My point? I think we can all benefit from a little aloha in our lives… it’s already made an impact in my life (you should have seen my reaction when someone honked at me a few days later... I was in disbelief and shock: “You honked at me…”)

In a few years, we'll head back to the mainland, but I'm hopeful the aloha spirit will come along for the ride – and if that happens, oh boy, I'm really going to get to work on those angry birds.


As always, I value your time and appreciate you spending a few minutes of your day with me. Mahalo and regards,


“Aloha to learn what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.”

Queen Lili‘uokalani, the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Islands. (1838–1917)


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