In advance of my first trip to Hawaii, I find myself daydreaming hourly about where I'll soon be, the sights I'll soon see, the tastes and smells and sounds that will wash over me like a warm, gentle wave. I woke up early this morning to do some more research for my trip, and as my mind got lost in a forest of imaginary palm trees, I realized that not even Maui will be perfect. Not a somber note at all, just a realistic reminder of the truth: perfection is too much to expect of a place or a person.
Can you imagine having to live up to that expectation? People arriving daily on your little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean expecting everyone to be constantly smiling, constantly joyful, constantly excited to be alive? I imagine it just might be a challenge that soon wears thin. Yes, Hawaii is a beyond beautiful location on this planet, and yes, living there must bring with it a special grace and calm, but perfection? That's a tall, very unrealistic order!
So what does it say about us that we constantly pursue perfection anyway? It says that we believe in the possibility of perfection. We believe that there is a better place out there, whether in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or elsewhere on or off this planet.
Yet the Aloha spirit you feel in Hawaii is much more than just a way of hyping the tourist industry. Aloha is about relaxing more and kicking back, not letting stress get the better of you. And even when perfection seems like a far away place for native Hawaiians, thousands of people arrive every day with the dream of perfection, the dream of pure bliss. And that, if nothing else, is reason enough to keep believing in perfection on Earth.