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.

What if we adapted that small part from the Hawai’i Revised Statutes that makes “the Aloha Spirit” part of their law and made it a part of our personal covenant with the public we serve?  We’re not saying you should become complacent, or sacrifice safety.  And we are not saying that the Type A’s among us must reject who they are.  Not at all on either count!  What we are saying is that keeping proper perspective is critical, and the Hawaiian model is a simple one to adopt.  And that tempering and managing those potentially troublesome traits of the Type A personality, not eliminating the type altogether, will go far toward maintaining a healthy perspective (and we Type B’s already do this all the time to function in law enforcement, so it’s only fair you A’s do, too!).

That law enforcement officers face many dangers is well known, but that so many of them are threats to the soul and psyche is overshadowed by the more obvious physical threats.  LEOs learn to think tactically, with an overriding emphasis on officer safety, to counter physical threats.  The same should be true for the less obvious, but equally dangerous, emotional threats.  In the next and concluding article in this series, we will look at how the principles of “the Aloha Spirit” can be directly applied in some very effective law enforcement practices.

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About The Authors:

Althea Olson, LCSW has been in private practice in the Chicago suburbs since 1996. She has a Master of Social Work degree from Aurora University providing individual, couple, & group therapy to adolescents, adults, and geriatrics. Althea is also trained in Critical Incident Stress Management & is a certified divorce mediator.

Mike Wasilewski, MSW has been with a large suburban Chicago department since 1996. He holds a Master of Social Work degree from Aurora University and has served on his department’s Crisis Intervention & Domestic Violence teams. Mike is an adjunct instructor at Northwestern College.

Mike & Althea have been married since 1994 and have been featured columnists for Officer.Com since 2007. Their articles are extremely popular and they now provide the same training and information in person throughout the United States. This dynamic team was recently featured at the at the 2010 & 2011 ILEETA Conference & Exposition.

Out of their success has come the formation of More Than A Cop where the focus is providing consultation and trainings on Survival Skills Beyond The Street.

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