E hoʻohaʻahaʻa ʻia hoʻi ka manaʻo kiʻekiʻe o ke kanaka (Isa. 2.17), the haughtiness of men shall be made low. (PNP sakasaka.)

Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H. (1965). Hawaiian Dictionary


Typically, when we want someone to gain empathy or understand someone’s perspective, we say, “walk a mile in their shoes.” Yet, studies have found, “people who endured challenges in the past (like divorce or being skipped over for a promotion) were less likely to show compassion for someone facing the same struggle, compared with people with no experience in that particular situation.” In one research study, people were given a scenario where a teenager struggled to cope with being bullied. They were then asked the extent to which they felt compassion for the teen. Researchers found people expressed a broad range of empathy. Counterintuitively, those that had little or no compassion were often those who had been bullied in the past. Why might this be?

On one hand, quite literally, we don’t fit into each other’s shoes. My banana boat size 12s would feel very different to someone wearing petite size 5s – even if the shoes were the same brand and style. If I tried to squeeze into shoes half my size, I’d focus on the pain and blisters caused by its ill fit rather than anything the shoes’ owner experiences. And even if I wore someone else’s shoes of the same size, they would still feel odd. Ever mistakenly put on someone else’s slippers after a party? Your toes hang slightly over the edge. The arch pushes on the wrong part of your sole. Since our feet are shaped differently and our bodies uniquely distribute and balance our weight, the slippers become customized to the owner. We can imagine what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes but that imagination is shaped by our own perspective.

Once, outside of Marukai, I took a picture of raindrops forming droplets on my windshield. I noticed within each the projection of a red framed window above my car. Every droplet contained an image of the same window. Yet, because of the size and shape of the drops varied, the assorted versions of the window appeared warped and peculiar. 

We see and undergo things through our own eyes and filter them through our own experiences. 

Once I finally accepted the fact that people see things differently from me, I stopped being frustrated that they did not behave according to my expectations. When I catch a kid swearing, I cease thinking they should know better and no longer say, “Would you talk like that to your parents?” Maybe swearing is acceptable in their household. Maybe it’s not. I really don’t know and it’s not my place to judge whether cursing is allowed in their home. Instead, I just say, “Swearing is not allowed here in school” and teach them what is acceptable.

Instead of assuming everyone grew up like me or hold the same perspectives, I practice haʻahaʻa – “Go Empty” as Pono Shim put it. I tell myself, “You are not a mind reader” and I listen. If I don’t understand, I ask questions. I trust and accept what they are telling me is their truth, their reality…and, with aloha, that is the surest way to gain empathy.


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

In honor of Black History Month, I will be featuring stories written by and featuring people of African descent. 

Please watch So Much written and read by Trish Cooke also illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Talk with your kupuna about the different ways members of your ʻohana show love.
  • SKILLS: Why do you think the title of the story is So Much? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer.
  • INTELLECT: The author Trish Cooke is from the Caribbean, a set of tropical islands south of Florida. Research the history and culture of the Caribbean islands and do a Double Bubble Map comparing it to Hawaiʻi.
  • CRITICALITY: Sometimes friends or even loved ones show love by teasing or making fun of each other. Yet, this way of showing love is not always appreciated or accepted as love. How might you let a friend know that their teasing is unwanted? -OR- How might you find out if your making fun of a friend is appreciated? 
  • JOY:  With your kupuna, talk about past family events that you both enjoyed. Look through photos of those events. Draw a picture of the photo and write a message underneath.


Kāneʻohe Elementary is blessed with a team of amazing, compassionate, thoughtful, and caring counselors. Please join us this week in showing appreciation for Julie Isa, Shane Kumashiro, and our Behavior Health Specialist Joan Lanzaderas.


Mahalo nui loa to the couple dozen families that braved the cold, windy weather last Friday to attend this year’s STEM Night. Aspiring engineers from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) challenged our students to design boats out of aluminum foil and measured which could hold the greatest amount of pennies. There were so many innovative designs, some holding up to 150 coins. Mahalo nui loa to the ASCE students, STEM Resource Teacher Karen Kimura, and Parent Community Network Coordinator Dee Fujinaka for organizing this engaging event.


In the February edition of Grove Farm’s newsletter, read about how in 1400 AD, the ancient Hawaiians used engineering to transport water and irrigate crops in arid Kōloa. Considering most auwai across the islands were dug into the soil, this innovative system uniquely used elevated aqueducts to bring water to otherwise inaccessible areas – much before Western contact.


Last call for our Kindergarten Preview this Wednesday, February 7, 5:30 – 6:30 PM. Since dinner will be included, please RSVP by Monday, February 5.

At this event, participants will:

  • Meet our teachers and support team; 
  • Visit our classrooms;
  • Get a snapshot of what kindergarten looks like at Kāneʻohe Elementary;
  • Participate in Parent-Child activities; and 
  • Learn how to enroll in our Kindergarten Smart Start Summer Program.

We are also accepting applications for kindergarten. If your child requires a Geographic Exception (GE), please submit your application as soon as possible. The deadline for submittal is March 1, 2024. All kindergarten GEs received after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list and will be accepted as space becomes available. If you have any questions about this or any other kindergarten related business, please call me or our registration clerk, Brigette Leavy, at 305-0000.


Buy your tickets now to see our wonderful performers across the Castle Complex including, Kaeten Miyashiro Manatad; Kameron Goohue-Souza-Kaululaa; Kobe Bruhn; Sariah Ava; Ariana Tanoye; Grezyn Nagao; and Makalehua Pelletier, in Sponge Bob Squarepants the Musical (Youth Version) There are only three shows, February 23 – 25. so secure your seat today at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/79651



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, Feb 7, 2024, 5:30 – 6:30 PMKindergarten Preview in the Cafe
RSVP here
Sat, Feb 10, 2024, 8 – 11 AMWindward District Science & Engineering Fair: Public Viewing & Awards Ceremony at WCC
Mon, Feb 12, 2024Teacher Institute Day – No Students
Tue, Feb 13, 2024, 4:30 – 5:30 PMWellness Meeting
Join by Zoom
Mon, Feb 18, 2024Presidents Day Holiday – No School
Wed, Feb 28, 2024 5 – 6 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom

Leave a Reply

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