Kindness, Unity, and Patience: How To Find Your Aloha
In the midst of our journey, a significant spark was ignited when Wally Tavares (@bigislandbombers), Bomber Eyewear's representative from the Big Island, approached us with the idea of the ALOHA Series. It was a concept that resonated deeply, as we all could use a poignant reminder to infuse more aloha into our lives. Wally's insight and passion fueled the creation of this collection, symbolizing the essence of Hawaiian culture and the values it encapsulates.
This has become even more true for us in the wake of the Maui wildfires. This unspeakable tragedy took away so many lives, destroyed so much history, and damaged so many places that native Hawaiians consider sacred.
If there's one thing we've learned over the last few years, it's that amazing things can happen when we all support each other. After the Maui wildfires, our local Hawaiian teams jumped into action, joining volunteer organizations around the island to offer support. From California, we arranged supplies and sent out canopy tents, large coverage umbrellas, and over 1,000 pairs of safety & sunglasses for people risking their personal safety -- and in many cases, their lives -- in the aftermath. Here's a quick clip of that Maui mission originally posted by Wally himself.
If you're not familiar yet with the devastation in Maui, we encourage you to look into local resources to offer your support for survivors and relief efforts. Even now, two full months after the fires swept the island, people from organizations like Truth Excavation are still donning full hazmat gear to clear out toxic materials left behind in the "hot zone." The destruction on Maui will take a very long time to rebuild from, and the emotional and cultural recovery will take even longer.
We've struggled with this here at Bomber HQ. Part of the reason we've always felt so drawn to Hawaii is its reputation as "the Aloha State," a place where kindness, unity, and patience come together to create a one-of-a-kind environment.
In fact, we named our ALOHA Series after this idea: not just the word, but the genuine spirit behind it. We wanted to find a way to create a little more community with our sunglasses, and our ALOHA Series accomplishes that mission by honoring Hawaiian culture in its frames and by uniting people who understand the true meaning of the word. (In fact, several of the safety glasses we sent to Maui were from the ALOHA Series. We wanted to give people a reminder of the place they love, and send a little bit of ourselves with our well-wishes to recovery workers.)
So what exactly is "aloha"? Sure, many of us know "aloha" as a traditional Hawaiian greeting, one that can be used to say "goodbye" as well as "hello." But do you know its historical and cultural significance?
In the name of positivity, we wanted to take some time today to talk about aloha. In times like these, it's more critical than ever to treat everyone around you with kindness and understanding -- and to always, always put a little more aloha in your life.
History of "Aloha"
The Hawaiian word "aloha" can be traced back to the early 1800s. It's made up of the Proto-Polynesian words "Alo," which means "presence," and "Hā," or "breath." When you put that together, the direct translation of aloha becomes the presence of breath. Another way to think of it is the presence of life -- after all, we can't survive without breath, right?
What does "Aloha" mean in Hawaiian and Polynesian culture?
Aloha is more than just a simple greeting or goodbye. The word contains endless spirituality.
There is a traditional greeting in Hawaii that comes from sharing breath, or Hā. Two people stand close, pressing their foreheads and noses together, and inhale at the same time. This is an exchange of breath -- or, in other words, the exchange of life. In ancient Hawaiian culture, our breath is a source of spiritual power, called mana.
The rest of the word comes together when you look at it as an acronym:
- Akahai: kindness and tenderness
- Lokahi: unity and harmony
- Oluolu: pleasantness and agreeability
- Haahaa: humility and modesty
- Ahonui: patience and perseverance
When you combine these words, you begin to understand the true spirit of Aloha: love, peace, mutual understanding, empathy, and respect. Wild how so much can be contained in one simple word, isn't it?
How can I be more Aloha toward other people?
In the simplest terms? Just be kind. Look out for each other.
One of our favorite things about the Bomber Eyewear community -- let's be real, it's probably our favorite thing -- is just how dang nice you all are. We love seeing how supportive you are, not just of us and our products but of each other. It warms our hearts to see someone post a totally rad surfing video that just so happens to include our gear, and see the comments flooded with supportive, excited notes from people around the world. That's just really freakin' cool.
You don't have to be native Hawaiian to live and treat others with more aloha. Just let your heart speak the way it wants to, and share those moments of kindness, perseverance, and mutual understanding with the people around you.
If you're looking for a daily reminder of your own sense of aloha, we recommend our ALOHA Series for exactly that reason. The designs on this frame collection, available across many of our most popular styles, give us that little visual cue we need day by day to remember who we are and where we come from.
Wherever the rest of your summer takes you, we hope you find your aloha every step of the way.