Aloha in the cards with Aiona

Aloha spirit is for everyone and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona encouraged the students he met with to share it with others.

“When I read the ‘aloha’ and ‘misery’ cards, it made me realize that my everyday attitude has an effect on people, and on myself personally,” said Tyresa Kapu, a Kaua‘i High School student.

She was reading the invitation letter to Aiona in which she requested aloha cards be “seeded” among the approximately 1,400 students at the high school.

At the root of the aloha card is the idea choice leads to decisions.

“No one knows what is going to happen in the future,” Aiona told the Kaua‘i High students Tuesday morning. “Some of your peers are not here because of decisions they made.”

Aiona said the aloha cards are tools that help people make the right decisions.

“Mililani High School is in a traumatic crisis right now,” the lieutenant governor said, referring to the school he will visit on O‘ahu next week. “A senior passed away in a one-car accident and there is a lot of shock and pain.”

Aiona said the fatality was caused by speeding and if the driver had made the right decision, there would not be mourning now.

As a PEP student, Kapu said they learn about teen pregnancy, sexual assault, violence, suicide and other pertinent issues to teens.

“The goal in the PEP is to be informed and to inform our peers,” Kapu said. “Our mission is to be the difference and to make a difference not only on our school campus, but also in our communities.”

Kapu said after reading about the aloha card program in the November/December issue of Sassy Magazine, she thought, “Wow … what you reap is what you sow.”

She said she wanted others to have the same revelation — to stop and think about the kinds of seeds they plant every day by the choices they make.

Aiona introduced his guest, Jeremy Foster, who underlined Aiona’s message with his own experience in making the wrong decisions and his battle to regain the things he lost on that path.

Foster, a graduate of Kaua‘i High School, said he should’ve asked for help from those who were willing to help instead of “drowning” himself in alcohol.

That “small step” led to bigger and bigger wrongs until eventually, he had an arrest record which he looks at daily to remind himself of what he had lost.

Aiona encouraged each of the students to talk about the aloha card with their parents, their friends and everyone.

“We live in Hawai‘i where people talk about the aloha spirit,” he said. “We have an opportunity no one else has — we can live aloha every day.”

Aiona’s whirlwind tour also took him to the Lihu‘e Hongwanji Preschool, where 3- and 4-years-old recognized the aloha spirit.

Taking down the presentation to the preschool level, Aiona encouraged the students to respect each other, and listen to their teachers to grow and to become good leaders.

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