I read on Hawaiʻi News Now online where a man ran down Waikui Street, punched a man in the face and stole his Toyota Camry! Reading that I was so shocked that I felt as if the man had punched me! I realize that crime exists everywhere in the world. But when I read about it in Hawaiʻi the committing of crimes against others strikes me as especially egregious in a culture grounded in the values of Respect, ʻOhana and Aloha. Crime anywhere is beneath human dignity but in Hawaiʻi especially to not care about others is a deformity of the soul, a cancer in the heart.
What degree of alienation must have occurred in order for a Hawaiian to not care about others? I would imagine that for a Hawaiian this must be a feeling akin to never being able to return home, a feeling of being an exile… even while still living in Hawaiʻi. What a terrible violence this must do to the psyche not to mention the heart! Many ancients speak of the heart as being the “Seat of Divinity” within us. To be divorced from the heart is to be separated from goodness, and to be separated from goodness is to be estranged from the Divine. Without being connected to the Divine we are simply two-footed animals.
What comes out of our hearts? Do we act like animals or like extensions of God? When we are hurt do we strike back or do we refuse to descend beneath our Divine dignity? When we see someone in need do we just leave them to their suffering? Are we willing to inconvenience ourselves in order to help someone? Do we care… about anyone? In order to be in touch with the Divine in our hearts it is not enough that we resist doing bad. We need to go a step further and deliberately do good, to do acts of kindness, care and respect for others. What could be more Hawaiian? Even we Mainland hāʻoles are capable of this!