Agreement in mind; unanimity of sentiment; union of feeling; oneness; similarity.Andrews, Hawaiian Dictionary, 1865
ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: LŌKAHI
Before he passed, Uncle Pono Shim was asked to mediate between military leaders and community members protesting the poisoning of the wells beneath Red Hill. Amidst the angry outcries and the weary excuses, Uncle Pono asked for everyone’s attention. He shared his observations about the contempt each side seemed to have for the other and then said, “Despite this, do you know what we all have in common?” An impatient silence fell across the room. “None of us here caused this. This is a problem we inherited and it’s a problem only together we can solve.” Once the Lōkahi all parties shared was pointed out and acknowledged, the healing began. Discussions became more productive and progress was made.
Aunty Pilahi Paki taught Pono that Lōkahi was about how we are already connected and aloha was about acknowledging and building upon this shared connection. Whether addressing a community calamity or a dispute on the playground, we need to uncover our Lōkahi. With regards to the playground, the Lōkahi might be that everyone wants to have fun and to make friends. Depending on our age, background, interests, and social awareness, we may need to clarify what we like and don’t appreciate. Sometimes someone’s fun might be interpreted as bullying by the receiver. So the behavior needs to be pointed out and the Lōkahi needs to be acknowledge so that all can have fun.
When we teach our children to advocate for themselves in a kind yet strong manner, we help them to become leaders. They learn that they have agency in instances where they might’ve felt fear or powerlessness. Even if the interaction results in the need for our children to ask an adult to step in, they are left more empowered. And this begins with their being able to recognize the Lōkahi in any interaction.
5 PURSUITS OF LŌKAHI:
Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad
Please watch this: Luli and the Language of Tea written by Andrea Wang and illustrated by Hyewon Yum. Then with you child, answer the following:
- IDENTITY: What is the word(s) for tea in the language of your kupuna/ancestors?
- SKILLS: Setting is where a story takes place. What is the setting for this book? What are the story elements and picture clues that tell you where it is set?
- INTELLECT: Research the origins of tea. What part of the world did it come from? How did it spread to become one of the most popular beverages in the world?
- CRITICALITY: How is Lōkahi represented in this story and how did it bring the children together?
- JOY: Use these tea cup templates by the illustrator Hyewon Yum to design your own tea cup that represents your identity.
DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO – please join us
With the start of the new year, we bring back Daily Virtual Piko. This practice helps us become centered and ready to learn. It helps us get on the same page, hearing one message of focus for the day and the week. If you are able, we begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesday when we conduct the piko in-person.