Ohana for happiness

Ohana for happiness

Happiness is what man lives for. His every motive and action is driven by his eternal pursuit to live a happy life. Yet, paradoxically it has been established that the more he chases after happiness the less of it he finds. Tho-ugh on the face of it, this seems to be a cruel aspect of life, the fact of the matter is that, this reality is man’s own making.

The modern, know-it-all man, with his superior intelligence, has come to believe that happiness is a commodity, in scarce supply and thus can be bought only by those with the necessary purchasing power. To give himself the required funds to buy this commodity, he has cocooned himself into a narrow little corner of life, forgetting the people around him, absorbed in a world of his own, eternally engrossed in trying to earn sufficiently to afford buying happiness.  This preoccupation has sadly blinded him from the actual places where he can find happiness.

And what are these actual places? Exotic holiday locatio-ns?  Secluded deserts and misty mountain tops?  All-night casinos and swanky malls? Though these places offer some escape from the wearisomeness of life, none of them are repositories of the lasting happiness man is hankering for.

It is here that the Hawaiians, who are credited to be the happiest people in America, may just have the answer to the complex question of ‘where to look for happiness?’  It lies in the word ‘Ohana,” the meaning of which is best described by this quote from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch: “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind… or forgotten.”

Ohana, comes from ‘oha,’ which is the highly revered taro plant that signifies that all ohana come from the same root. No matter how distantly ancient Hawaiians were related, they recognized that they all came from the same root and thus were all part of the same family. Ohana, used to describe a generic family bond, is further simplified as community ohana, a friends’ ohana, even a work ohana. And everyone is constantly asking himself: “What am I willing to give to ohana?” Because to the Hawaiians true happiness is found when one is engaged in the building of strong family ties and human bonds. 

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