Two years ago as a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper (in newsprint on the stands), I wrote about the “aloha spirit” we practice back home in Hawai’i and elsewhere. (“Looking for the Aloha Spirit in Tucson” (3/25/08) and “Why we could use a little aloha spirit” (1/13/09).
I also wrote 3 online blogs about “living aloha” in our everyday lives (two were entitled “Spread a Little Aloha”, 4/11/08, and “Aloha Spirit update”, 8/14/08). The third blog was reprinted in a book just released entitled “Practice Aloha – Secrets to Living Life Hawaiian style” compiled & edited by Maui resident Mark Ellman and ex-Maui resident Barbara Santos.
Hundreds of people contributed their take on the meaning of aloha, the aloha spirit, or what it means to practice aloha. The book is also described as “Stories, Recipes, Lyrics from Hawai’i's Favorite Folks”.
“We believe our stories will fill the world with aloha, at a time when we need to Practice Aloha more than ever.” (quote from the editors)
My short one-page contribution on page 156 is called “Aloha Around Town” (originally published online in the Tucson Citizen on December 11, 2008, then entitled “Practice aloha”). My simple blog shares company with inspiring, heartfelt stories from famous Hawaiian personalities such as Keola Beamer, Robert & Roland Cazimero, Sam Choy, Frank DeLima, Jake Shimabukuro, Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares, former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann, and current Gubernatorial candidate & former Congressman Neil Abercrombie, and lots and lots of others.
One of my favorite contributions in this book is by Oahu photographer Pi’ilani Schneider who says that “If you want to know aloha, please, give it yourself, but expect nothing in return.” (excerpt from her “Aloha is Love” piece on page 68)
By the way, I did not submit my blog to these authors for publication, they found me by googling online. And all because someone had put their “practice aloha” bumper sticker (shown below) on a car here in Tucson, and I noticed it for a blog subject.
All the contributors share the same love for Hawai’i (many having been born & raised there like me) and the belief in doing our part to spread a little aloha spirit, to make this world a better and friendlier place.
You can get this book (now with free shipping) at www.practicealoha.org. The publisher is Mutual Publishing in Honolulu. You can also order the “practice aloha” bumper sticker at the same website for only $2. (On the Big Island of Hawaii, the visitor’s bureau gives out “Live aloha” bumper stickers designed by local Hilo artist Sig Zane.)