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The Pono Principle: Doing the right thing in all things

By BY CINDY SCHUMACHER - | Mar 19, 2021

Robert DeVinck’s hope is that pono, a noble word of Hawaiian origin, which transcends all cultures, countries, religions and languages, will become part of the entire world’s everyday lexicon.

WEST MAUI — Robert DeVinck, Maui author and West Side enthusiast who loves observing nature’s wonders while driving along the Pali, having brunch at one of several favorite Lahaina restaurants, collecting fine art on Front Street and regularly attending the Latin Mass at Maria Lanakila Church, is writing a third book. His two previous books, “The Pono Principle: Doing the Right Thing in All Things,” and “The Ascension Within: Becoming Who We Already Are,” provide inspirational guidelines that include the Hawaiian principle of pono, wisdom of the world’s great spiritual teachings as well as his own life lessons.

Pono, a Hawaiian word meaning righteousness, harmony and balance, conveys such important values that DeVinck devoted an entire book to it. With a Master’s Degree in Human Services Counseling, he offers some basic, easy-to-follow steps on how to better our world by asking ourselves one simple question in our daily decision-making process: what is the next right thing I could be doing?

“By introducing readers to the Hawaiian principle of pono, I illustrate how this sacred practice goes to the core of Hawaiian culture and the spirit of aloha, and how it has profoundly influenced and become central to my own life,” DeVinck explained.

“What I learned is that actions done for the common good prove to be far more rewarding than actions taken solely for personal gain. When that truth becomes apparent to a person, his or her life is changed forever. By our practicing the pono principle, the same result awaits those we touch and the world that we share together.”

At the age of 42, DeVinck was forced to face his physical mortality when his life was interrupted by Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Disease. But it would take another 15 years before he was willing to address his other life-threatening disease, addiction. Rising from the ashes of his two illnesses, DeVinck began his transformational spiritual journey to find his true self.

“I dedicated myself to the study of the spiritual teachings and discovered that the common truth shared by the great sages and the saints of history is to live humbly, gratefully, and in service to others,” DeVinck noted.

“Regardless of our differences in race, gender, nationality, political views or ethnic background, I am confident that the vast majority of us navigate through life sharing a common moral compass. Selfishness must be transformed into selflessness.”

DeVinck added, “The idea of being pono begins with mindfulness. By living, eating and being pono in our daily lives, we will come to know who we truly are, the person we were created to be. My fervent prayer is that, together, we create an entire world of aloha ambassadors. The pono principle is the way to such a world. It helps guide us to doing what is right for ourselves, each other and the planet we share.”

Native Hawaiian and Sabado Art Gallery Manager Patti Cipro noted, “I wish the book ‘The Pono Principle’ had been available when I was growing up. However, even now, this book offers inspiration and hope to live by. I keep referring back to certain chapters as needed. I have been truly touched by reading it, have shared it with others, and recommend it to all. In ‘The Pono Principle,’ DeVinck shows how immeasurably our lives can be impacted and transformed, simply by the daily practice of doing the right thing in all things.”

In the follow-up book to “The Pono Principle,” DeVinck presents the most profound spiritual, philosophical and psychological truth of the ages. In “The Ascension Within: Becoming Who We Already Are,” DeVinck takes us on a journey by looking in all the obvious places for answers to life’s most important questions. He reveals them with a touchingly personal and heartfelt account of transforming a me-centered view into something more peaceful and fulfilling.

“The most crucial answer was in the last place I ever thought to look; deep within myself,” DeVinck reflected. “By finding my true self, I was free to begin my spiritual journey, my ascension within to rediscover the pure, uncorrupted soul I was at birth. I rediscovered an inner peace and happiness that I had long ago forgotten I possessed. All of the world’s great spiritual teachings come down to one basic principle, the Hawaiian philosophy of pono, doing the right thing in all areas of your life. When that is realized, living the pono principle comes naturally.”

Both books, “The Pono Principle” and “The Ascension Within,” are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and sold locally at Paper Garden in Wailea Village.