If you haven't been to Hawaii, it's worth going. Each island offers something different in terms of land and water activities, great food, unspoiled vistas, casual dress, and beaches (covered with white sand or covered in black sand, making small waves or generating huge waves). It's all about the tropical scenery, volcanoes, fun shops, roadside seafood restaurants, leisure tanning, fruit cocktails, and of course, the temperate weather. I have been to Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, Lanai, Molokai, and Kauai; all lovely and peaceful in their own ways.
The Hawaiian people are long known for their warm hearts, their focus on the values of family and children, and their respect for the ocean, animals, plants, and islands. They are a nurturing culture, knowing that where they live is beautiful and deserves protection, respect, and constant care. And their culture is service-oriented, since they know the tourism industry on the islands is one lifeblood (with the US military bases the other) and an economic bedrock on which their past, current, and future success are built. You can't even imagine how tough the two-year pandemic was on the travel and tourism industry in Hawaii. Things are only now starting to get back to normal.
The Queen's Medical Center, or the Queen's Hospital, as it's known, was founded in 1859 by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, and is located in downtown Honolulu on Oahu. The mission of the hospital at its founding was to provide healthcare for all Hawaiians. Queen's former CEO Art Ushijima, who retired in 2018 after 30 years there, was the shepherd for many service quality introductions and improvements in this massive healthcare system. I know all this firsthand because my father, Dr. Karl Albrecht, and his training staff (including a young consultant named Steve Albrecht) worked at Queen's for several years, under Art's leadership, training to make service excellence a part of Queen's healthcare mission as well.
It was during this time, my dad coined the phrase at Queen's called "The Spirit of Service." This idea was created using a mix of the "Aloha Spirit" that is so much a part of Hawaiian culture and a service orientation that puts the patient (also called the "customer," internally at Queen's, and now at many other hospitals around the country) at the absolute center of the total hospital experience.
As I have mentioned in several Library 2.0 articles, podcasts, and paid webinars on customer service in the library environment, the Spirit of Service is defined by my father like this:
"An attitude, based on certain values and beliefs about people, life, and work, that leads a person to willingly serve others and take pride in his or her work."
This means you care about your job, your co-workers, your bosses, and our patrons, so you do work that you are proud of. The Hawaiians have taken ownership of this idea. Can you see how it would work in your library, with your colleagues? What steps will you need to take, at every level where you work, to make your library organization part of this spirit?
Did you know the concept of "Aloha Spirit" is actually statutorily mandated in Hawaii? Look at this government code for your proof of how Hawaiians are expected to function when engaging with taxpayers, tourists, other departments, their bosses, and each other:
From Chapter 5 of Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes:
5-7.5 "Aloha Spirit".
(a) "Aloha Spirit" is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. 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 laulā loa 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.
These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii's people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaiʻi. ''Aloha'' is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. ''Aloha'' means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. "Aloha" is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence.
(b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the "Aloha Spirit". [L 1986, c 202, § 1]