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Our Kuleana to Mālama

Jun. 7, 2023

Contributed by Kahu Kalani Wong, KS Maui

Heluhelu Baibala/Bible Reading

3 Mai hana ʻoukou i kekahi mea me ka hakakā a me ka hoʻokiʻekiʻe wale; akā, me ka naʻau akahai e hōʻoi aku i ka manaʻo maikaʻi iā haʻi, ʻaʻole iā ʻoukou iho. 4 ʻAʻole hoʻi e nānā ana kēlā mea kēia mea i kāna iho; akā, e nānā hoʻi kēlā mea kēia mea i kā haʻi.- Pilipi- 2:3-4
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.- Philippians 2:3-4

He Manaʻo o ke Kahu o Kalani Wong, KS Maui

Our aliʻi were people who knew their kuleana in life. That kuleana is reflected in the ‘ōlelo noʻeau, “He Opu Aliʻi”. Have the lokomaikaʻi heart of a chief, the kind, benevolent heart that looks after the needs of others. After Kamehameha the Great united the islands, he knew that nā loʻi which provided much kalo for his warriors needed to be rebuilt. He jumped in and worked alongside the makaʻāinana. 

Our beloved Ke Aliʻi Bernice Pauahi Bishop, had the same state of mind.  Her people were her priority. When a church member was ill, a call was made to the Kahu, who quickly responded by going to the hale of the sick parishioner, only to find Pauahi was already there, providing loving care.  When Lot Kapuaiwa, Kamehameha V, asked her to assume the throne from him, she refused saying she wanted to serve her people, rather than lead them.

During his earthly life, Jesus served others by caring for those whom others cast aside.  Though he was the Son of God, he chose to give up everything so that we might life and life eternal. That was the greatest form of service to all, for it gave everyone, those from the past to those alive today to those to come, life eternal.  He lived out his kuleana to mālama sinners and saints alike.

This attitude of kuleana to mālama is not just for our Aliʻi or ke Aliʻi o nā Aliʻi, but is for us as well.  When Pauahi set aside all her earthly belongings to start the Kamehameha Schools, it was with the vision to develop “good and industrious young men and women”. Good people who were grounded in their faith.  Industrious people who live out that faith in service to others. To be people who reflect her life, as she reflected Jesus Christ.  Let’s take to heart this call by considering others more important than ourselves and looking after their interests, to take on the kuleana to mālama.

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