I first came across this expression as a teen, when reading the novels and stories of grand master science fiction writer Robert Heinlein. He (I think) first used the term in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but it could have been earlier, I’m not certain.

I’ve used it for years, but never really thought about the actual derivation until today. So I dug through Google for a bit, and was interested to find that it likely comes from the Hawaiian word for anger.

So, literally translated “No huhū, chela” as RAH used to use it, means “No anger, servant.” Of course, that’s not the way Heinlein intended it. He used the term in the same sort of way as Australians use “No worries, mate.” Meaning, “Don’t sweat it m’dear”, or any similar expression.

But it actually bears further thought. Anger is an incredibly destructive emotion, if held onto. We all feel anger from time to time. Natural and normal. But there are several important things to bear in mind about it though:

  • We can control how we react to the anger we feel.
  • And we can decide to feel it move through us, and then let it go.

I hate it when someone tells me not to feel something. Hello, I can’t control what I feel. I can however, control how I react to what I feel. And that’s the crux of that biscuit. I can choose to express my anger, lash out at someone with it, give tit for tat. Or, I can release it, and let it leave my body.

Anger that is not released is hugely damaging, on several levels. Kept inside it can harm us mentally, spiritually, and even physically. As a lay homeopath, I can see the results of repressed anger in some persons, when this caustic emotion isn’t released one way or another, it works its way out through the body (often through the skin!)

So I try, as Heinlein would encourage me, to have no anger. Interestingly, this is also one of the precepts of the basic motto of Reiki, which reads:

Just for today….. Do not worry
Just for today….. Do not anger (I prefer to think of this as “Have no anger.”)
Just for today…..Honor your parents, teachers, and elders
Just for today…..Earn your living honestly
Just for today…..Show gratitude to every living thing.

The founders of Reiki have the same instruction as Heinlein – have no anger.

Anger has its uses, of course. It can spur us to take action, which otherwise we might not, and cause situations to become clearer that might not otherwise. Expressing your anger can lead to a resolution of the situation which caused it, although sometimes it doesn’t. But if nothing else, by expressing the anger in a way that causes no harm to the person for whom you feel it, you are releasing it so that it won’t cause you harm either. The key is finding such a way.

One of my favorite ways to express my feelings without necessarily sharing them with someone, is to write what I’d like to say down in a letter, on paper, in my own hand (all too often these days I write things on the computer, doing it by hand is interestingly powerful.) Then I take the letter, and rather than send it to the person, I burn it. This small ritual will, nine times out of ten, result in some resolution of the situation, even if it’s only the removal of my anger about it.

Sometimes by letting go, we help ourselves the most. So keep Heinlein’s words in mind the next time you feel yourself getting worked up about something.

“No Huhū”, as in most cases, it’s just not worth it.