Aloha, Arabic, Christmas Eve, God, God willing, Hallejuah, Hawaiian language, Hebrew, if Allah wills, Insh'Allah, love, Ojala, praising God, Sainsbury, Sainsbury Christmas Commercial, similarity in cultures, Spanish, The Christmas Truce, unity, universal truths
Recently, during a quiet moment, I sat musing about four different words: Aloha, Ojala, Insh’Allah, and Hallejuah. What struck me about these four words were not only how similar they sounded, but how the definitions of each of these words had something to do with God.
Aloha is from the Hawaiian language and means “hello, goodbye” and “love.” (Yes, I know Aloha means love, but since I believe all real love comes from God, I included it in here.)
Ojala is from Spanish and means a strong desire or hope for something to happen, often referred to as “God willing.”
Insh’Allah is an Arabic term for “God willing” or “if Allah wills.” (Thank you Wikipedia!)
Hallejuah is a Hebrew term meaning to “praise God.”
How did four such different cultures come up with a similar word that is essentially used as a reference to love or God? I know there are many historical and linguistic reasons why this occurs, but I am not going to go into that subject as my knowledge is woefully inadequate in that area. I do know, though, that at one point on this earth, we were all one people. Is it really so odd then to think that there would be similarities in language, even spread across the earth? Let’s ponder those similarities for a moment…
Can you imagine what this world would be like if we all realized, that as human beings, we are essentially seeking the same thing? At some point in our lives, we have all felt fear, hunger, pain, anger, sadness, pleasure, happiness, and joy. We all wanted to be loved and accepted. And most likely, at one point, we all looked up into the skies above and hoped for something better.
Why don’t we, as human beings on this earth, realize that we all have so much more in common than we think? There are universal truths that cannot be denied, no matter what we believe in. If the countries and cultures of this earth could recognize our commonalities rather than our differences, there would so much less hatred and war.
Which is what happened for a moment, 100 years ago, on Christmas Eve 1914 during WWI. Two warring sides, England and Germany, were huddled down in their trenches listening to a rare stillness while the sounds of war were hushed. Suddenly, out of the silence, rose a voice singing “Stille Nacht.” Seconds later, a voice in English joined in singing “Silent Night.” As the two voices unified in their different languages, other voices joined in. Soon, many from the two opposing camps were singing one of the most beautiful songs ever written of love and peace in the harshest of conditions. The Christmas Truce, as it is called, lasted throughout that night and even for part of the next day. Men, who were supposed to be at war, found their humanity and for a brief moment, shared peace and love instead.
Oh, my friends, if only the countries of this earth could do the same now, what an amazing world this would be! But in my small way, doing my part, I will reach across the boundaries and say “Aloha, Ojala, Insh’Allah, and Hallejuah!”
(To see a brilliant remake of The Christmas Truce, watch this short commercial done by Sainsbury UK. http://inspiration.sainsburys-live-well-for-less.co.uk/about-our-christmas-tv-ad/?SRC=HP&POD=HP1&ID=141113 )