Literally, great breath

Pukui, Mary Kawena, Hawaiian dictionary : Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian

s., Aho, patient, and nui, much. Forbearance; long suffering; patience.

Andrews, Hawaiian Dictionary, 1865


Have you ever struggled to find an appropriate response after someone told you about something bad that happened to them? You feel a mounting pressure to say something but the words are not coming. You want to help this person feel better and take away their pain. You try to place yourself in their “shoes” and say the things you might want to hear. In the end, you say something, but did your words make a difference? 

Ahonui along with haʻahaʻa help us to find the most appropriate response and when to relay it. Where haʻahaʻa is about emptying ourselves of thoughts, ego and judgement when listening to someone, ahonui is about waiting for the moment by being attentive to the speaker and intuiting what type of response is needed and when. 

Recently, I had the honor of sitting in on a book talk by Stephanie Malia Krauss, author of Whole Child, Whole Life: 10 Ways to Help Kids Live, Learn, and Thrive. The book talk was different in that high school students were invited to share their thoughts about what adults needed to hear about their lives and struggles. Meanwhile, adults were to sit in haʻahaʻa and listen. The students talked about being crushed by the tremendous pressure to achieve while grappling with feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression. They felt misunderstood by their parents and teachers, being told to “be strong” or “don’t worry about that.” 

As a teen, I certainly experienced similar feelings, but I did not have the added stressors that comes with social media and being isolated during my formative years. How do I know what to say to help these teens – especially when I too was taught to swallow my emotions, not show weakness, and just carry on? – Lessons that arguably have led others in our past to instead excessively self-medicate with substances, express frustrations by abusing loved ones, and/or retreat into isolation.  

Instead of advising the students or presenting them with a solution, Ms. Krauss modeled haʻahaʻa and ahonui during her talk. She communicated with empathy, paraphrasing and then asking students if she completely heard them. She did not judge or criticize what was said. Instead she showed acceptance and compassion. 

In our own relationships, that can sometimes be hard to express, especially when our ego and own sense of protectiveness kicks in. So it’s important to remember to exhale and empty ourselves of judgement, be haʻahaʻa. Then if you struggle with the words to say, try asking this simple question my partner taught me. With ahonui simply ask, “How can I best support you?”


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: First Laugh–Welcome, Baby!  written by Rose Ann Tahe and Nancy Bo Flood; illustrated by Jonathan Nelson. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Many cultures celebrate different milestones as a baby grows and develop. Discuss with a kupuna what milestones are celebrated in your culture.
  • SKILLS: The author uses many different descriptive words the baby’s actions that might indicate smiling or laughing. Draw a Bubble Map of describing the baby in this story.
  • INTELLECT: Smiling and laughing are developmental milestones for babies that indicate they are becoming more socially aware. Research when smiling and laughing typically happen for most babies and the reason why we smile and laugh.
  • CRITICALITY: Tupac Shakur once wrote, “the power of a smile, especially yours, can heal a frozen heart” How might a smile and helping others smile cause less hate in this world?
  • JOY: Share some laughter with your loved ones this week. Celebrate each other for the gifts they share.


On behalf of the Hawaiʻi Postive Engagement Project (H-PEP), parents and educators are invited to join an in-person workshop focused on sparking gratitude. Activities include:

  •  Sharing stories
  •  Making new connections
  •  Writing a heartfelt Mahalo letter
  •  Crafting a personalized bracelet for someone in your life you would like to Aloha. 

Sign up for Gifts of Gratitude, Saturday, December 2, 2023, at Ka Waiwai Mōʻiliʻili, Oahu. 

Please note that you can only sign up for 1 group and must attend the full session. Open to all Hawaiʻi educators and parents. Opening event is free to join and registration is required by Monday, 11/27/23.


Mahalo nui loa to our Wellness Committee and all who contributed to our Kāneʻohe Cooks event, last week Wednesday including

  • Aina Aloha o na Lima Hana
  • Joni Kamiya and Kamiya Farms
  • Kāneʻohe Elementary Cafeteria Staff
  • Dr. Jon Oka Family Dentistry
  • The Rocket Scientist
  • Our wonderful Wellness Committee and their ohana for running different booths: Erin Battles, Dee Fujinaka (with Dyan Nakamura), Jennifer Kwok, Chelsea Pang, and Travis Park 

If you attended, please provide us with feedback to make next year’s event even better. Even you didn’t attend but would like to get involved, please consider attending our next meeting on December 13 (link below in the calendar)



See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.


Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 


At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


Wed, Nov 29, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 13, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 20, 2023Winter Classroom Paina
end school at 2:05 PM (switch with 12/21)
Thur, Dec 21, 2023Winter Songfest
end school at 1:15 PM (switch with 12/20)
End of Quarter 2
Dec 22, 2023 – Jan 5, 2024Winter Break Intersession – no school
Wed, Dec 27, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Mon, Jan 8, 2024Waiver Day #3 – No Students

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