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