Lessons of Aloha

If you are finding yourself beaten down and constantly angry, or your cynicism is turning you against your own species, both your emotional and physical health are at risk. You need to regain perspective.

From the Hawaii Revised Statutes:

§ 5-7.5 "Aloha Spirit". (a) "Aloha Spirit" is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, "Aloha", the following unuhi laula loa may be used:
           "Akahai", meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
           "Lokahi", meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
           "?Olu?olu" meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
           "Ha?aha?a", meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
           "Ahonui", meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
    These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii's people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawai?i. ''Aloha'' is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. ''Aloha'' means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. "Aloha" is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. ''Aloha'' means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
    (b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the "Aloha Spirit". [L 1986, c 202, § 1]

So there you have it… “Aloha” is more than just a greeting in Hawaii, or something they say a lot on Hawaii 50 or hokey sitcoms when they reach their obligatory “going to Hawaii episode,” it’s the LAW! 

Last month’s article (Type A or Type B:  Which one are you?) took a look at the iconic Type A and Type B personalities, comparing and contrasting them, considered whether the classic Type A personality predominates within the law enforcement profession, and asked readers to ponder which type they might be.  As we’ve spoken and corresponded with many cops over the past few years, it seems a good number of them believe it takes a Type A to have any success in law enforcement.  Now, we don’t believe that and can point to many successful Type B colleagues who make their more laid-back personas work just fine, but we agree there seems to be a large proportion – and maybe a solid majority – who fit the Type A profile.  Maybe you do, or perhaps you are a legit Type B but point to many or most of your colleagues and can easily rattle off their Type A ways.

Both Type A and Type B persons (and as a reminder, these two archetypes are far from a complete or scientific typing of the variety of personalities found in individuals; they do, as well understood and accepted by laypersons, provide a rough delineation among two commonly occurring temperaments) can have positive and negative attributes deriving from their dispositions.  For our purposes here, we want to take a look at the Type A individual, as so many in law enforcement seem to fit this profile.

Type A’s are ambitious and focused, often with a businesslike demeanor and demanding achievement in themselves and those around them.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing but, taken to the extreme, “ambitious and focused” can become “ruthless and single-minded,” “businesslike” morphs into “cold and impersonal,” and “demanding achievement” turns into “domineering.”  Not always the best traits for healthy of interpersonal relationships or solid professional associations.  Even more concerning, as we wrote about in the first article of this series:

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