It has so few letters, to trigger such a long definition. And even with a string of words making up the definition, pono is still tough to grasp in words.
Pono, according to the Pukui/Elbert Hawaiian dictionary, means goodness, uprightness, morality, moral qualities, correct or proper procedure, excellence, well-being, prosperity, welfare, benefit, behalf, equity, proper, righteous, right, upright, just, virtuous, fair, beneficial, successful...and more.
Tonight at 8:30 on PBS Hawaii, UH College of Education staffer Lilette Subedi says: "(Pono) is intangible in many ways. It's very difficult to express it or articulate it in words. That's why it's much easier to see pono in action."
In tonight's locally produced program, E Ola Pono, featured on our Pacific Showcase, we'll see pono in action at two public schools in Hawaiian Homelands communities.
At Blanche Pope Elementary in Waimanalo, Windward Oahu, elevating the Hawaiian value of pono has improved student focus and behavior. At Keaukaha Elementary in Hilo, Hawaii, upholding pono has led to improvements in student conduct, academic performance and community participation.
There's less finger-pointing about who's right. It's all about what's right.
"I think we have to look beneath our feet and around us," says Subedi says. Pono is more of a foundation. So it comes from beneath us, it comes into us, it permeates us. It comes from above and around us. It's all over. Pono is the term specific to our Native Hawaiian ancestors."
Kudos to PBS Hawaii's Robert Pennybacker and independent producer Joy Chong-Stannard and everyone else who contributed, for their work on E Ola Pono.