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What Are The Hawaiian Values?

What are the Hawaiian Values?

Pono, essentially, means righteousness. Living pono, then, means living righteously. This means having a harmonious and respectful relationship with the community, and with the land. It means taking only what we need, and giving back whenever and whatever we can. Living pono is a state of being in balance with mind, body, and spirit, and it’s the result of putting kindness and respect first. These are ideas and principles that help guide us through our everyday lives and relationships, from navigating our day-to-day social lives, to making sure our business relationships are healthy and respectful.

Living righteously certainly means treating others with kindness and respect, but it also means treating ourselves with love and respect, and staying true to our values. Naturally, there are many other Hawaiian values that can help guide us through a truly righteous life. Kumu Karen Carroll walks us through a few:


Kealahou [ke-ā’lă-ho’u]  means a new perspective. It is important to understand that the way we see things for the first time is not the only way these things can be seen, and it certainly does not have to be the best way. We all have flaws and imperfections, but what might be a weakness from one perspective can be a strength from another. A cracked bucket may “lose” water along the path, but the plants it waters along the way are grateful.


Oluolu [o’-lu-o’-lu] means caring. Although we may not expect it ourselves, there are certainly people in our lives that look to us for advice, for comforting words, for kind gestures, and for reassuring smiles. Although it may not be a conscious effort, the care we put into the world can mean the world to somebody else.


Akamai [ă-ka-mai’] means resourceful. Being smart is important, but being able to use what the world and what your community can offer you to navigate life’s challenges is just as important. Being resourceful not only helps us in our personal lives, but it makes us better members of our communities.

Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi

Aloha Ke Kahi I Ke Kahi [ah-loh-hah-kē’-kā’-hi-i-kē’-kā’-hi] means looking after one another. We are all on our own journeys, but we are not the only ones on a journey. Every soul we pass has their journey as well, and lending out a helping hand can make all of the difference in the world, even if it takes us off of our own path for a moment.


Haahaa [ha’a-ha’a] means humility. Sometimes, we’re wrong. As much as we all hate it, at some point, we are wrong about something we were so sure of. The ability to be able to recognize this and to offer a true and sincere apology, to be vulnerable about our mistakes, makes us a loving and caring part of our communities.


Ohana [o-hā’-na] means family. Whether it is our blood family or family we have met along the way, Ohana is very important in Hawai’i. Always remember: treat your family like guests, and treat your guests like family.


Pono [pō’-no], as we’ve already mentioned, means righteousness. All of these values help us live righteously, and help us make sure that our relationships are kind and respectful, from the relationships we have with our neighbors, to our families, to our business partners. What are some values that help you live righteously?

Living Pono is dedicated to communicating business management concepts with Hawaiian values. Founded by Kevin May,  an established and successful leader and mentor, Living Pono is your destination to learn about how to live your life righteously and how that can have positive effects in your career. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or contact us here. Also, join our mailing list below, so you can be alerted when a new article is released.

Finally, consider following the Living Pono Podcast to listen to episodes about living righteously, business management concepts, and interviews with business leaders.

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