Aka, with care, and hai, to speak. To be tender of heart; meek

Andrews, Hawaiian Dictionary, 1865


Note: The following is a modification of a message I wrote to staff on August 1, 2022.

Of all the elements of ALOHA, akahai seems to be the most akin to the common definition of aloha. Aunty Pilahi Paki and Uncle Pono Shim taught us that while the literal meaning of akahai is gentle or meek, it’s deeper meaning is grace, leaving others better than when we found them.

Last week, I attended a lecture on La’au Lapa’au (traditional Hawaiian medicine and spirituality) . The kumu, a student of the late healer, Papa Henry Auwae, shared his expectations of a Lāʻau Lapalaʻau practitioner, one of which was Hoʻomaikaʻi Akahai or to have respect for everything – the plants, the protocols of your practice, those you heal, everything. This expectation serves as a reminder to be intentional. As the healer practices akahai – helping someone get better – they must show akahai and imbue their tools and plants with positivity and kindness.

As educators, we do the same. The act of teaching is really a practice of akahai. We help students get better through the learning process. Thus all of our tools, resources and instructional methods should be instruments of kindness and grace. Likewise, when we regard our students, their families, and our school ʻohana  with akahai, we strengthen our impact. Hoʻomaikaʻi Akahai is our charge as well.

As parents, we too strive to be Hoʻomaikaʻi Akahai:

  • From teaching children to share to modeling how to treat others with respect;
  • From ensuring they’re well nourished to encouraging them to serve our community;
  • From reading to them everyday to helping them plan for their future.

By filling these everyday occurrences with kindness and grace, we model as we teach, how to be Hoʻomaikaʻi Akahai.


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: THE RED BICYCLE: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle written by Jude Isabella and Illustrated by Simone Shin. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Like Leo, have you or your kupuna ever donated something that you truly valued? Talk about that item, what it made it special and the hope you had for its new owner.
  • SKILLS: Make a Flow Map of the red bicycle’s journey from Leo to Haridata.
  • INTELLECT: After being donated, the red bicycle travels from the East Coast of America to Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa. Research countries in West Africa. How are they similar to and different from Hawaiʻi.
  • CRITICALITY: Describe the different ways Leo’s donation of his bicycle helps others (including the earth.)
  • JOY: Make a donation drive with your family, gathering things that can still be used by others in need.



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, Jan 17, 2024, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Jan 31, 2024, 5 PMSchool Community Council

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *