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Weekly devotional: Being a great learner

June 9, 2023

Contributed by Kahu Kalani Wong, KSK'74

Ka Ipu o Lono shares weekly devotionals to provide spiritual enrichment to members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana. For more inspiration, visit the KS “Our faith” website.

Heluhelu Baibala/Bible Reading
E hoʻoikaika nui ʻoe e hōʻike iā ʻoe iho i mua o ke alo o ke Akua me ka hoʻāpono ʻia mai, i paʻahana hoʻi ʻaʻole e pono ke hilahila, e puʻunaue pono aku ana i ka ʻōlelo ʻoiaʻiʻo.- Timoteo II 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.- 2 Timothy 2:15

He Manaʻo o ke Kahu Kalani Wong, KS Maui
Nā kanaka maoli were wise people. They knew how to navigate across vast oceans by using the stars.  They knew what the weather was going be like by observing the clouds.  They had names for all the different types of rain. They could tell centuries of history through oli. All of this without a written language.  When the missionaries arrived, they brought with them a different form of learning using an alphabet.  The spoken language became a written one.  When Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III, became moʻi at the age of 12, he proclaimed, “Chiefs and people, give ear to my remarks! My kingdom shall be a kingdom of learning.” Even at such a young age, he knew education was key in preparing his people for what was to come.  To prepare the children of aliʻi when it became their turn to rule the kingdom, he founded Chief’s Children’s School (The Royal School). He also started schools for the makaʻāinana. Towards the end of his reign, there were 423 schools in Hawaiʻi with an enrollment of over twelve-thousand-students.

Ke Aliʻi Bernice Pauahi Pākī was one of those who attended Chief’s Children’s School.  She loved learning and was one of the brightest pupils, often tutoring the other haumāna.  She too felt that education would help her people be successful so she left her entire estate to establish the Kamehameha Schools.

It is great to be smart but even better to be wise, to be able to apply your academics to life. An ‘ōlelo noʻeau puts it this way:
E lawe i ke aʻo a mālama, a e ʻoi mau ka naʻauao.
He who takes his teachings and applies them increases his knowledge.

Being academically competent means we can take what we know and apply it to life, to be able to properly use the lessons to improve life for ourselves and others. The Apostle Paul tells Timothy, his young charge, to be diligent in his study of the word of God so he might be able to properly live it out.  Let’s see how we can grow in our knowledge and wisdom by being lifelong learners and put all that to use so our world is a much better place.

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