ʻUmia ka hanu!
Hold the breath! Be patient; persist!
This ʻōlelo noʻeau was traditionally a war cry to encourage the warriors to continue on, even when times were hard and it seemed like a never-ending struggle. There are days when our lives seem so full of trials and tribulations that we seemingly cannot overcome. If we heed to the words of our kūpuna and be diligent and press on, we will soon see the results of our endurance.
The message of Lili‘uokalani below is placed before us as a significant challenge, in the waning days of her life. Like the ʻōlelo noʻeau, it reminds us to be courageous in the face of change and uncertainty, to be discerning in the face of trials and tribulation, to stay committed in the face of circumstances and obstacles nearly insurmountable, and to remain clear thinking and focused for the long term with humble spirit and keen sensitivity and perspective.
“I could not turn back the time for the political change, but there is still time to save our heritage. You must remember never to cease to act because you fear you may fail. The way to lose any earthly kingdom is to be inflexible, intolerant and prejudicial. Another way is to be too flexible, tolerant of too many wrongs and without judgment at all. It is a razor’s edge. It is the width of a blade of pili grass. To gain the kingdom of heaven is to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable, that is Aloha. All things in this world are two; in heaven there is but one.” –– Lili‘uokalani 1917