Book Review: Aroha

Written by Libby Gordon.

Aroha: Maori wisdom for a contented life lived in harmony with our planet, by Hinemoa Elder

ArohaThis book came to us highly recommended, and it did not disappoint. It was an easy read and for those of us who listened to it we had the extra pleasure of listening to Hinemoa read it to us in her New Zealand accent and hear Maori spoken which was a treat!

Full of personal stories, but not ego driven it was easy to find parts of this book that resonated with where we were each at. The weaving of story through the 52 whakataukī / proverbs was well done, it reminded us all of home and connected us to each small section of the book. It made us think a little more about the heritage of our country, and our impact on the planet.

As this book was broken down into 52 sections it was easy to dip in and out of the book with ease and it was a book that we all thought we would come back to and gift to friends. Those of us you came together to talk over the book pulled out a few of our favorite whakataukī:

- 10: E ea ai te werawera o Tāna tahuaroa, me heke te werawera o Tāna te wānanga. Satisfy the sweat of the cooks by getting a good sweat up while learning (To properly acknowledge the efforts of the cooks, we need to give learning our all)
- 24: Tina whetū ki te rangi, he iti te pōkēao ka ngaro. A small cloud overhead will obscure the stars. (A small group can overcome the multitude, can overcome a myriad of difficulties)
- 32: Ehara taku toa I te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini. My success is not mine alone, it is the success of the collective. (No one gets there alone)
- 35: Moe ate wahine o te pā harakeke. Marry the women of the flax cultivation. (Be a women who thinks about her legacy)
- 43: Nā te iho ko te korero, nā te whakairo nui ko te mūmū. Talking comes naturally, silence comes from wisdom. (Listening is underrated)

Mostly this book made us all pause a little in our busy days, and think and reflect, and feel grateful.

Do buy this book, open it at random and read a few pages or read from front to back or do one and then the others. You will take something different away from it each time.