Letter for Wednesday, April 21, 2021

America needs Aloha

My name is Matthew Taeza and I am a junior at Waimea High School. I wanted to share another one of my personal reflections that is required for graduation. This reflection is of the word “Hawai’i”.

When I think of the word “Hawai’i” I think of the word community. Everyone who lives in the state is apart of Hawai’i. Being a member of Hawai’i, I feel proud to be where I’m from and to be apart of such a diverse state. I think the thing that defines Hawai’i is the way we treat each other. I feel like growing up anywhere else other than Hawaii would’ve been a completely different experience.

Growing up in Hawai’i, there’s not really much to be afraid of. Everyone treats each other with respect and there is a sense of family within the community. How we call our elders Aunty and Uncle, the way we treat each other as our own family members, it just feels like a great place to be.

I am sure that the people who aren’t native to Hawaii and come here for the first time, are amazed at the way people interact with each other and how everyone cares for each other. I guess that is just the Hawai’i culture that dates back to when the first Hawaiian people roamed the islands. We’ve adopted and modernized their traditions of hospitality and respect for not only our own people, but strangers as well.

The original Hawaiian people were very welcoming to the foreigners who visited our islands and treated them with gifts and greetings. Overall, I have a lot of pride living in Hawaii and I can’t wait to bring the Aloha spirit out into the world when I eventually leave the islands to pursue education.

There’s a quote that my history teacher used to have on her wall from former President Barack Obama.

President Obama said that,”I try to explain to them about the Aloha spirit…and its that spirit that I am absolutely convinced is what America is looking for right now” and I couldn’t agree any more.

Matthew Taeza, Waimea

  1. RGLadder37 April 21, 2021 5:50 am Reply

    Why don’t you major in history or some other studies. Like Ethnic Studies or Asian Studies. You sound like you are on your way to developing into an educated mind about the land and culture of Hawai’i. Good luck!

  2. andy April 21, 2021 6:47 am Reply

    Good letter, Matthew! Well-written and to the point, which is often a rare thing in the letters section of TGI. And I agree with your sentiments- good luck with your future education, sounds like you have the right attitude to do well.

  3. John Patt April 21, 2021 7:24 am Reply

    Very well said, Matthew.

  4. USAF Brat April 21, 2021 8:28 am Reply

    I am so proud of you, Matthew Tarza! Thank you for this post. You have ohana that raised you properly as i have with my two sons. You are a success and you havent even gotten out from High School. I cant wait to see how you Hanapa in your life. Three things needed in life. Ha Wai I.
    Aloha! Alo-to be in the presence of…each others life-giving breath, Ha.

  5. YuCalJoe April 21, 2021 12:57 pm Reply

    Your letter was well written and intended. But to end it with a reference to Obama, who is well known as being far from practicing the Aloha spirit, is disappointing. I understand that it was only a quote. But it sure isn’t something he practiced. The teacher should have a quote from a member of Hawaiian Royalty, it would mean so much more from someone immersed in the culture and not politics. But you still did a good job.

  6. USAF Brat April 22, 2021 5:56 am Reply

    TAEZA, Matthew! Apology for the Ohana name typo!

  7. CommonSenseish April 27, 2021 4:00 pm Reply

    Ah, so naive. Ofcourse, a Liberal in the making.

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