‘Ōlelo No‘eau – Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings
By Kimo Jenkins, Director, Product Development & Implementation Cultural Guide
E hō‘ihi aku, e hō‘ihi mai. Ke ola koa.
Show respect, Get respect. Live long like a koa tree.
The highly prized koa tree symbolizes integrity; an acknowledgment to the trials and tribulations that affect the tree’s growth. The koa tree that reached maturity had triumphed over adversity, conquered many challenges. Many years are invested in the evolution of the koa tree; its worth increases with its maturity. The Hawaiian value associated with koa is hō‘ihi (respect). Integrity grows out of respect for self and others, and knowing what is right and doing it. Culturally and symbolically koa is also linked to prosperity, long life and success.
Health and wellness is a combination of focus, understanding, and overcoming adversity. Keep things in balance – Hawaiians call this lōkahi – in order to be healthy one must want to be healthy. Wellness is a product of wanting to be, believing it can be achieved, changing behavior, and becoming what you desire.