So there I was minding my own business in the living room with a particulary energetic hockey game on the TV when an elderly woman walked up the driveway (the Blogmeister abode is back from the street a bit) and knocked on my door. Thanks to the configuration of the entry way and living room I could just speak to her through the screen of the open window.

“Can I help you?” I asked.

“Is it okay if I take some pictures of your orchids for the people back home?” she replied.

You see, Mrs. Blogmeister is a bit of an orchid junkie and we have a space by the front door piled at all times with whatever is blooming (usually a pretty large pile). This visiting tourist had been going on morning walks every day and finally got the nerve to stop and ask. Turns out that her vacation rental owner had told her to just walk up and knock…this is Hawaii…aloha lives here.

Well of course it is and of course it does and I was happy to share a story or two with her while she snapped some photos of the flowers. I even pulled out a new one from inside that I had given Mrs. Blogmeister for her birthday recently. She eventually moved on with a wave and a smile and a thank you and I went back to the game with a feeling of having done something good.

Can I imagine that happening anywhere else? Maybe, but it would be a bit of a surprise. Hawaii is just different that way, people smile when they pass by on the sidewalk, they stop and let you pull out into traffic (if my house was on the same busy street in Silicon Valley I’d never get out of the driveway), there’s a welcoming vibe to the place that is contagious. (Yeah, every place has their share of asses, but the percentage seems to be a whole lot lower here.)

This weekend we get to spread a little more aloha standing in front of an audience and singing. Stick with the program, kids, this is Hawaii. Don’t just sing, communicate. Don’t just make words and notes, have a conversation with your audience. Let them know that this is important to you and your goal in that moment is to share it with them. The more aloha that you pour out, the more you’ll get back. And once that bond is made, choral singing REALLY climbs to another level.