This philosophy is about living at the end of the day Balanced life. As humans, we tend to swing back and forth on the pendulum of life, and Bono is all about taking steps to correct course when things swing to the dark side a lot. It is an awareness of how things are going in your life, and an intention to address problems before they become a bigger problem. In this way, pono is actually a verb, it’s all about acting and reacting to specific situations on a daily basis so that you can eventually stay on as consistent and balanced grounds as possible. As Uncle Clifford Nyoli, a Maui-based cultural practitioner whom we interviewed and featured in the book explains: “The Bono advantage is to practice every day, especially when things are heading south.”
Of course, it can be hard to know exactly when you need to act. But deep down Hawaiians think so, you always know, because you will Feel He. She; The signs will be there if you allow yourself to hear them. “We think that if you are Bono Ole– If you’re without Bono – it makes you so unbalanced that things can go awry internally, physically and mentally,” continues Uncle Clifford. “You might feel like something is growing inside of you, getting bigger every day, and it might explode.”
So part of living a pono life is knowing that it is your responsibility as a member of your family and society at large to address these issues as they arise. It’s not easy to let things slip under the rug when you know, deep down, that there is a problem that will come up again later.