Like the one from whom he received what he learned.
(Said of a child who behaves like those who reared him. Māna is food masticated by an elder and conveyed to the mouth of a small child. The haumana receives knowledge from the mouth of his teacher.)
I take my job in education very seriously. I realize that the work I do on behalf of students, whether children or adults, has a big impact on every individual. It is in this way that I relate this ʻōlelo noʻeau but I also see it another way. We, as parents, are our children’s first teacher. Just as we chew up food for them to eat when they are infants and toddlers to nourish them physically, we must take special care to nourish their spirit and their mind. We work hard to teach each child those values and concepts that we think will benefit them and serve them well in life. And, hopefully, make this place called earth a better place.
The greatest gift of all is time.
Take time to read daily to your children or grandchildren. Don’t have any children in your home? Then find someone to read to. Volunteer at a school in the mornings. One college professor in the community in which I work, comes to our school twice weekly, on the days that she is free, to work with a group of middle schoolers. Their last meeting together, she took them to her college for a visit. What an impact! Unforgettable for the students.
Kū i ka māna – the children in your life, those that you touch, are influenced greatly by YOU, whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, teacher, or volunteer. Teach our children well. The child you touch will be a reflection of you. Make it a good reflection.