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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Lapierre

"We Live On Both Sides:" Wise Words from IZ

“Everybody gotta see it for their self; make their kuleana pono. For when you ready, it will happen.”

In Hawaiian culture, kuleana refers to one’s space or spirituality. Pono refers to having things in correct balance, in good order. What IZ was saying is that if you want to get your life in order, or your space in order, then make it “pono” -- make it good.

“I'm not scared for myself, for dying. Because I believe all of this is temporary, this is one shell. Because we Hawaiian, we live in both worlds. I don't know if you can relate to this: we live on both sides. So it’s kind of like, if I go now, that's all right. I'll go set the table for you guys, keep the stew hot. We can't help it, brah. It's in our veins. It's the koko [blood] that flow in our body.”

Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole

(May 20, 1959 - June 26, 1997)

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