Who Says You Have to Be Nice to Someone? Hawaii Does

By Rachel George


In Hawaii, you have two options: be nice or get out of here. It’s called the Aloha Spirit” law.


Aloha is mostly used as greeting or way to say hello. Aloha is also the Hawaiian symbol. According to The Points Guy, Hawaiians had to get along with one another to be able to live and work in peace because they had nowhere else to go. However, the law didn’t become official until 1986.


Aloha is a way of living and treating people with love and kindness. Those who don’t comply must face the consequences, which are quite “real,” according to the BBC. This means someone could risk being publicly reprimanded or could lose business.

The law was inspired by Pihali Paki, a well-respected elder, after giving an emotional speech about the law.


“The Aloha Spirit is the coordination of mind and heart within each person,” the law declares. “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 laulâ loa (free translation) may be used.”


“Akahai, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
Lōkahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony”;
ʻOluʻolu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
Haʻahaʻa, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
Ahonui, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.”


The law is less restrictive and more symbolic to the Hawaiian culture. “It’s almost impossible to enforce it,” first deputy attorney general of Hawaii Dana Viola told BBC in an email. “It is a philosophy that directs a code of conduct and way of life. Nonetheless…all citizens and government officials of Hawaii are obligated to conduct themselves in accordance with this law.”

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