While visiting a friend’s coffee plantation on the Big Island of Hawaii, my step-father told the story of how he used to pick coffee beans in Kona when he was a kid. When someone asked how much he got paid, he simply said, “kokua.” Kokua is the Hawaiian tradition of “extending loving, sacrificial help to others for their benefit, not for personal gain.”
Later, on the plane ride home, I watched a documentary about the Hawaiian rainforests. A Hawaiian medicine man mentioned how he would only gather enough medicinal plants for the sick person. “Hawaiian medicine is not for sale,” he scolded.
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Is there a practice of selfless service in your culture? Please share.
- Everyday Thanksgiving: July 2013 (everydaygurus.com)