To thank, bless, render thanks, congratulate, make acceptable, praise, improve, perfect, correct; grateful, gratified, thankful.
Tomorrow, many families throughout the nation will celebrate the holiday we know as Thanksgiving. My family will set aside the stories we learned in school involving Pilgrims and Native Americans feasting joyously together. We choose, instead, to spend the day being thankful for the bounty of our ʻāina and the blessings in our lives.
The Hawaiian word for blessings and thankfulness is hoʻomaikaʻi. It is also the word we use as part of Thanksgiving Day – Lā Hoʻomaikaʻi. The word hoʻomaikaʻi comes from the word maikaʻi, meaning good, fine, all right, well. The hoʻo– is a causative. Basically, it causes maikaʻi-ness to happen. Hoʻomaikaʻi means to cause goodness, wellness. And when you cause goodness or wellness, then surely it is something to be thankful for. It is a blessing.
Sometimes, in happy occasions and even sad times, I say to myself, hoʻomaikaʻi. What a blessing. So many things to be thankful for in life. When we bless the food we are about to eat, we hoʻomaikaʻi i ka ʻai. We are grateful and give thanks for the food.
Everyday I show up at work, I hoʻomaikaʻi i ke aliʻi Kaleleonālani. I give thanks for Queen Emma, affectionately known as Kaleleonālani. She was given that name after the death of her beloved son and her husband. Despite the pain and grief she suffered, she continued to be a compassionate leader in Hawaiʻi. While no longer a queen, she continued her humanitarian efforts. She frequently visited patients and formed a relief society to do the same. She is most well known for her efforts to start a hospital to help the Hawaiian people. She also started the St. Andrew’s Priory School for Girls and also laid the groundwork for ʻIolani School, named after her husband, King Kamehameha IV.
Everyday I go home, I hoʻomaikaʻi i ke aloha ʻohana. I give thanks for the love of family. Whoever you consider part of your family, whether by blood, marriage or through friends near or far, what a BLESSING to have someone in your life. And what a blessing that YOU can be that special person in someone else’s life.
Hauʻoli lā Hoʻomaikaʻi iā ʻoukou a pau – Happy Thanksgiving Day to each and everyone of you.