Hana Hou!

 Hana Hou
(Hawai’ian Pidgin ) Translates as “Do it again” ; “One more time”. 
An appreciative response to an event: usage similar to “Bravo”. Often as an exclamation.

Last night, I went to one of the most amazing concerts I’ve ever been to. My friend Clayton and I got tickets to the Honolulu Symphony, and I almost died when I saw the program. They were playing the Eroica Symphony, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Rhapsody in Blue, and Pictures at an Exhibition. Yes, it was incredible. The pianist was phenomenal, and I was actually the first one to stand up after the Rachmaninov, because I was so moved. 
However, as impressed as I was by the Gershwin, I chose not to give him another standing ovation, because I hold that gesture sacred. Clayton, on the other hand, said he felt rude not standing along with the rest of the audience, and it got me thinking about how different our expressions of appreciation have become. What if something is absolutely and breath-taking-ly surreal in beauty? How do we differentiate between that and an excellent performance? Do we jump on the stage and bestow 5 leis upon each player and give them all free tickets to Disneyland? 
Truth be told, I don’t know if many people really can differentiate. If they enjoy it, or maybe even if they don’t, they’ll stand. If they hate it, and it’s the absolute worst performance they’ve ever witnessed, they might grudgingly get to their feet and clap along with the rest of the audience. But music is music, and whatever.
Oh, no.
As pictured above, we have grown to value individuals like unto Justin Bieber more highly than artists like unto Queen. WHY? Oh, maybe because our ears can’t handle more than a 4-chord song with a whiny voice, coming from a boy that looks like a 14 year-old girl.
Sorry about that. But I do think we need to do some serious reconsideration by way of what we value.
It seems that a lot of the goodness in this world gets mixed in with everything else, and then we just get a big bowl of melted ice cream, and you can’t pick out the cookie dough bits or the peanut butter trails or the pralines, or the strawberries, because it’s all been stashed together for so long that you wouldn’t be able to recognize those individual delicious ingredients. Many people haven’t even been introduced to flavors like Sweet Cream or Praline Pecan or German Chocolate Crunch or Haupia. They’re just living life with a melted container of Western Family vanilla with brown sprinkles and peanuts. And it’s all in the same carton, so how is anyone supposed to stand up and cry out in ecstasy at the cascade of flavor from a single, life-changing bite? They can’t, so they just give every bite “2 Thumbs up!” and call it a day.
You know, the same thing applies to modesty and life styles and all kinds of other things, but I’ll stop here, since this has already gone on long enough.
Bottom line, I don’t believe in giving a standing ovation for any old average performance. But I do believe in giving a huge one if the performance is completely spectacular. That’s all I ask. Let’s encourage greatness, and stop celebrating mediocrity. 

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