Aloha. It’s a simple enough word to those not acquainted with its deeper meaning. Sure, it’s a greeting that doubles as hello and goodbye, but it’s also so much more. In Hawaii, it’s an essence of what we strive to be. We want to live with aloha, to pass on the aloha spirit, to let aloha consume us. We believe that aloha makes the world a better place.
So what, exactly, is aloha? For something that’s become such an integral part of the Hawaiian culture, it’s hard to find a clear-cut definition of aloha, but you know it when you see it.
To live with aloha is to be kind to those less fortunate than you. It’s a warm smile to a person on the street who looks to be having a rough day. It’s helping an elderly woman with her groceries. It’s picking up opala, or trash, even when no one is looking.
Aloha also means being responsible. We’re here to be stewards of the aina (land in Hawaiian) and to help those who cannot help themselves. And best yet, aloha doesn’t have to exist in the islands alone. If we could export one thing, it would be aloha.
Here’s how the kupuna of old defined aloha:
Aloha is being a part of all, and all being a part of me. When there is pain - it is my pain. When there is joy - it is also mine. I respect all that is as part of the Creator and part of me. I will not willfully harm anyone or anything. When food is needed I will take only my need and explain why it is being taken. The earth, the sky, the sea are mine to care for, to cherish and to protect. This is Hawaiian - this is Aloha!
At Turtle Bay, living and working with aloha is one of our collective tenants. Whether it’s the valet, your surf instructor, or the general manager, it’s engrained into who we are. It’s what makes us special. It truly is a way of life.