To communicate

I am sure many of you have heard of hoʻoponopono. Literally hoʻoponopono means “to make right”. This is the Hawaiian way to restore and maintain peace within the extended ʻohana. One main objective of hoʻoponopono is to be proactive, to “nip problems in the bud”, so to speak. Although hoʻoponopono today generally occurs when there are issues that need to be addressed and problems that need to be solved (reactive rather than proactive), the general focus is on communicating , with the help of a mediator (usually a kupuna) to make sure that everyone is on the same wavelength, everyone is calm and everyone follows the rules of hoʻoponopono. It is the sharing of manaʻo, of information, of understandings so that no one feels out of the loop. Hoʻokaʻaʻike is the Hawaiian word (a new word to our Hawaiian vocabulary) which means “to communicate.” Literally, hoʻo– is a causative (making action of a verb), kaʻa means “transferred” (of course, there are other meanings to kaʻa, like car or to twist or roll) and ʻike is knowledge. In other words, “to cause knowledge to be transferred”. A roundabout way of saying “to communicate” but it describes the function, right?

The key to preventing many misunderstandings and problems is to hoʻokaʻaʻike. Communicate. Funny that the Hawaiian language doesn’t really have a traditional word for communication. If you look in the dictionary it will say launa ʻōlelo, which literally means socializing talk. Not quite the same. I suppose in the “old days” when communication consisted of actually having to talk to someone (no telephone, email, fax, etc.), more communication actually took place and Hawaiians also factored in body language (which sometimes speaks louder than words).

Distance, both physically and mentally, has put a damper on that face to face open communication. Reliance on other forms of getting information to others (rather than face to face) does not quite cut it.

Please tell me that I am not the only one suffering from lack of hoʻokaʻaʻike. And it is a two way street. I should hoʻokaʻaʻike better, at home and at work. Likewise, I wish that others (again, at home and at work) would hoʻokaʻaʻike better with me. It would prevent so many misunderstandings, assumptions (mostly incorrect ones), and it would probably make my home and work life run a lot smoother. Hoʻokaʻaʻike!

Copyright: 2015 – Liana Iaea Honda. All rights reserved. All versions of He Momi e Lei ai”, in its entirety, past and present, is the property of L. K. I. Honda. Reproduction and use of any kind other than the sharing of this website is prohibited. Alteration to the original content in any form is prohibited in every and any instance, and use in any other variant is prohibited without written consent of the author. Adress inquiries to: hemomi [at] gmail.com. Definitions and wise sayings are from: Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert, 1986. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau – Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983.

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