Becoming one as a people
We live in such a busy world today. It can become a challenge to remember to take time to pause and value those closest around us, and remember what really matters. A Harvard Study of Adult Development completed over an 80 year period discovered that the single most important thing to people was not the materialistic things the world tells us we should value, but found that what people valued most was community, family and relationships.
We are lucky in New Zealand to live in a nation whose roots cultivate a culture of hapori (community) and whanau (family). Here are a few Tikanga Māori values that you can adopt and use to connect and thrive in the relationships and community closest to you.
Manaakitanga means to show respect, support, look out and to care for our loved ones, or even extend generosity to a complete stranger. It is to have an open heart and support others be it emotional or any other kind of support, without expecting anything in return. Manaaki means the door is always open and the well of goodwill will never run dry, no matter what. By becoming one as a whanau and community, signifies strength and unity which in turn ensures our people can prosper.
Extending Manaakitanga to those around you could be as simple as telling a loved one you love them, helping Mum in the kitchen, or helping a friend out in any way you can who is financially struggling. Simple and thoughtful things bring you closer together and truly connect with the most important thing; those around you.
He kura te tangata
“Our humanity is precious”
A kaitiaki is a guardian. To offer kaitiakitanga means to offer guardianship of the sky, land and sea. It is our duty as a community to ensure we contribute to the sustainability of our environment to ensure our descendants have a place to call home once we are gone. By making the effort to be conservative in your daily choices of consumption contributes greatly to making this a possibility.
Simple ways to be a kaitiaki in your daily life can be to make sure you avoid using single use plastic, recycle, walk or bike to work, or join a community project to plant trees. Being respectful and conserving the earth through mindfulness of the impact your behaviours have to the land and sea, is how you can extend kaitiakitanga to our earth.
Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua
“As man disappears from sight, the land remains”
Kotahitanga is to create unity and togetherness as a people. To become one. It is to have an open mind towards understanding each others differences and to be at peace with one another. By showing support and uplifting one another up, despite our differences and our pasts, and in return receiving it back. Imagine how much your relationships with your loved ones and your community would thrive if you began to extend kotahitanga throughout your day?
To begin adopting kotahitanga in your day could be as simple as saying hello to a stranger or joining a sports team and making sure everybody is included. Or it could be to embrace a loved one who may have taken a wrong path in life, supporting and encouraging them without judgement to uplift and encourage them.
He waka eke noa
“A canoe which we are all in with no exception”