Another factor in my teaching, professional life has been the Aloha Spirit. This is a feeling of compassion and joy for each other. My father, who has taught overseas in International Schools for 22 of the last 23 years has brought the Aloha Spirit to every faculty he has been on since 2000.
Inspired by a feeling of TGIF in Hawaii called Aloha Friday, my dad set up coffee, invited others to bring treats and enjoy each others’ company. The results were staggering. Morale around the school started to turn, teachers had more smiles, they ran off to their classrooms last minute because of great conversation. My dad had brought the Aloha Spirit to his school(s).
After a recent trip to South Africa on Spring Break 2015, I noticed that the Aloha Spirit is alive and well in all parts of the world. In South Africa it is remained Ubuntu. The feeling that I can not live without you, living and supporting me as a community.
As an outsiders perspective South Africa needs to lean on Ubuntu. I felt a general racial divide between races both social economically, and politically. Upon returning from where I live in Saudi Arabia I had an acquaintance tell me about how Affrikanars are even requesting their own nation. This surprises me and makes me hope that all South Africans can practice Ubuntu and politicians can find a way to lessen violent burglaries and help with the poverty in the nation.
One thing I have learned living 15 out of my 30 years outside the United States is to not believe everything you see on the news. The “CNN Effect” as others call it, is something that prevents people from traveling and experiencing other cultures. In this section of my blog, I will continue to find examples of people sharing, living, and breathing, the Aloha Spirit in whatever form or word. This is the opposite of the “CNN Effect” and something I look forward to sharing.
Q1: Does your school have a recurring activity similar to the Aloha Friday coffee?
Q2: What other cultures or places do you know share the same compassion as the Aloha Spirit thriving in Hawaii?