Sep 3, 2015


Over the weekend, we brought the kids to the cinema to watch the Disney Pixar movie "Inside Out".

They enjoyed the movie and as parents, we had several takeaways from the movie, too! 

There's one thing I want to tell you is that at the start of the movie, there was a short film "Lava" - a love story about 2 volcanoes, written and composed by the movie director James Murphy and it was very touching and emotional. Most eyes were moist after that.

Here's the video:

Hope you like it as much as I do ...

"Lava" Lyrics

A long, long time ago
there was a volcano
living all alone in the middle of 
the sea.

He sat high above his bay
Watching all the couples play
And wishing that he had 
someone, too.

And from his lava came
this song of hope that he sang 
out loud everyday
for years and years...

I have a dream
I hope will come true
That you're here with me
And I'm here with you.

I wish that the earth, sea, and the 
sky up above
will send me someone to lava.

Years of singing all alone
turned his lava into stone
until he was on the brink of 

But little did he know
that living in the sea below
another volcano
was listening to his song.

Everyday she heard his tune
her lava grew and grew
because she believed his song 
was meant for her.

Now she was so ready to meet 
him above the sea.
As he sang his song of hope for 
the last time.

I have a dream
I hope will come true
That you're here with me
And I'm here with you.

I wish that the earth, sea, and the 
sky up above
will send me someone to lava.

Rising from the sea below
stood a lovely volcano
looking all around
but she could not see him.

He tried to sing to let her know
that she was not there alone
but with no lava his song was all 

He filled the sea with his tears
And watched his dreams 
disappear, as she remembered 
what his song meant to her. 

I have a dream
I hope will come true
That you're here with me
And I'm here with you.

I wish that the earth, sea, and the 
sky up above
will send me someone to lava.

Oh they were so happy
to finally meet above the sea
All together now their lava grew 
and grew.

No longer are they all alone
with Aloha as their new home
And when you visit them this is 
what they sing.

I have a dream I hope will come 
That you'll grow old with me, and 
I'll grow old with you

We thank the earth, sea, and the 
sky we thank too.

I Lava YOU! 
I Lava YOU! 

Jul 8, 2015

No Wrong Time to Say the Right Thing

A cartoon depicts a woman shaking hands with her clergyman as she leaves the church. The caption says, "Thank you for the sermon. It was like water to a drowning man." Some compliments are better left unsaid....

Isn't it true that words carry with them immense power? Power to build up and power to tear down. Such was the case with the words of Mandy (not her real name), a woman who learned that there is no wrong time to say the right thing.

It was a cold, rainy day in March. Across the room in the retail store where Mandy worked, sat Laura, a woman about Mandy's age. Other workers did not like Laura; they thought of her as snobbish and aloof. And Mandy agreed.

But sweeping the bias from her eyes, she made up her mind to say something kind to Laura. Finally, she managed, "Do you know, Laura, that I've worked in this room with you for several years. And whenever I glance up I see your head silhouetted against the window there behind you. I think you have the prettiest profile and hair that I have ever seen on anybody." Her words were not insincere flattery. She meant it.

Laura looked up and began to cry. "That's the first kind word anybody has ever said to me in all the time I've worked here," she said.

Mandy discovered that Laura's aloofness was not due to snobbishness, but shyness. The two became friends. Other workers soon began to include Laura in their activities, and she blossomed like a flower that, for the first time, found sunlight. The right words, spoken in kindness, made all the difference.

Words carry the potential to tear down or to build up. But when they are both sincere and kind, they are instruments that wield great power. Never underestimate the potential and power of your words. 

There is no wrong time to say the right thing. And there is no better time than now.

-- Steve Goodier

Jun 17, 2015

How to Improve Your Vision

Did you know that the English word "thanks" comes from the same root word as "think"? And they not only share a similar background, they are related in another way. It seems the more we think, the more we thank. One woman illustrated the how thinking and thanking are related in a visit to the eye doctor.

She complained to her ophthalmologist that, as she grew older, her eyesight was getting worse. He examined her eyes and could not be encouraging about the future of her eyesight. But to his surprise, she did not seem to be upset. She told him all she was grateful for: her deceased husband; her children and their families; her friends; the many years she has enjoyed upon this earth; her vast library of memories. She had done a great deal of thinking about these things. "My eyesight is getting worse," she summarized, "but I'm not going to fret over that."

Her doctor later made this observation: "Her eyesight is poor, but her vision is better than most people." She clearly saw what many never see -- all the good in her life. And she was content.

When we take time to think, and make time to thank, we see more clearly.

It sounds like an good way to improve your vision.

– Steve Goodier

May 11, 2015

A Good Apology

Listen to this letter of apology:

"Dear Dog,

   I am so sorry about you being sent to the dog pound for the broken lamp which you did not break; the fish you did not spill; and the carpet that you did not wet; or the wall that you did not dirty with red paint...

   Things here at the house are calmer now, and just to show you that I have no hard feelings towards you, I am sending you a picture, so you will always remember me.

Best regards, The Cat"

The Old French root of the word "repent" is "repentir," which actually means to be sorry. The cat may have said he was sorry, but there is no sorrow here. 

It reminds of me of the story of a woman with fourteen children, ages one through fourteen, who decided to sue her husband for divorce on grounds of desertion. "When did he desert you?" the judge asked. "Thirteen years ago," she replied. "He left 13 years ago? Where did all the children come from?" The woman looked sheepish. “He kept coming back to say he was sorry."

Again, no sorrow here, for if he'd been truly sorry, he'd have stayed. Sincere repentance always leads to change.

We need to learn how to make a GOOD APOLOGY -- one that is sincere and honest. One that gets the job done. Offering a good apology is not something many people do well. But we can learn. 

It is well said that a good apology has three parts: I am sorry; it is my fault; what can I do to make it right?

I am sorry. Three short words that, when they are heart-felt, can be most difficult to say. But when uttered, they can change lives.

It is my fault. No excuses. No blame. Psychologist Carl Jung insightfully said, “The only person I cannot help is one who blames others.” When we accept fault we have the power to do something about it. When we pass the blame, we are helpless to keep it from happening again.

What can I do to make it right? Unless we change something, nothing changes. A good apology is followed by action. Otherwise, it is only words. 

If you are going to apologize, apologize well. Never ruin your apology with an excuse and back it up with action. 

Learning how to make a good apology is too important to neglect. It’s part of maintaining whole and healthy relationships. And it’s something we can practice today.

– Steve Goodier

May 1, 2015

Success Tax

I have learned something about success: I have learned that it comes with a tax.

Achieve your dreams, they say. Anything you want can come your way. Nothing to it, they say. Just follow a simple system and anything and everything can be yours. Not so. There is a tax you pay to get what you want, whether you want more income, healthier relationships, emotional satisfaction, spiritual growth or a well-lived life. It is called dedication.

Orson Welles once said, "My doctor has advised me to give up those intimate little dinners for four, unless, of course, there are three other people eating with me." Some people will tell you that you can lose 25 or 50 pounds in just weeks. It's easy, they say. Not so. Andy Rooney observed that the two biggest sellers in any bookstore are cookbooks and diet books. “Cookbooks tell you how to prepare the food and diet books tell you how not to eat any of it.” If it were easy to lose weight, who’d buy the books?

Some people will tell you that you can have the body of an athlete, or the Incredible Hulk or a fashion model (assuming that’s what you want). It's quick and simple, they say. Not so. It is never easy to succeed at difficult goals. There is a tax, and that tax is called dedication.

Do you want to excel at a sport, play a musical instrument well or become an accomplished artist? One man was lost in New York City. He poked his head into a taxi cab and asked the driver, "How do you get to Yankee Stadium?" The driver responded, "Practice, practice, practice." You want to become really good at something you enjoy? You probably can. But there is a tax to pay and that tax is called dedication.

Many of us would like closer relationships with a spouse or a child or with friends. There are never guarantees, but I promise that those relationships will suffer without dedication. When they were small, I wanted to figure out how to be closer to my young boys. And I noticed what the problem was...I wasn't spending enough high-quality, significant time with them. So, in addition to my other parental activities, I decided that I would take one of them out for breakfast every week. Just the two of us. For me it was alone time with one child. For my sons, it was a chance to get Dad all by himself -- with no distractions. 

I scheduled the breakfast dates a few days in advance. Some weeks it seemed like more of a nuisance and I was tempted to skip. Some weeks we didn't have the money. Some weeks I had an unusually busy day ahead and believed I just didn't have the time. But it was a high priority. I dedicated myself to it and, regardless of good reasons to cancel, I made it happen anyway. (And if truth be told, my sons wouldn't let me skip -- they looked forward to eating food they usually didn't get at home.) As I now figure it, I had breakfast alone with one of my children over 500 times. It became a time for listening and talking and bonding; never a time for correcting and persuading (those were the ground rules). As I look back, I made plenty of mistakes as a father, but if I had it to do over again, I would still do the breakfasts.

We pay a tax to succeed at anything worthwhile. That tax is called dedication, and here's the most wonderful part. Once you pay it, once you truly dedicate yourself to something important, you'll find the price was worth it.

– Steve Goodier

Apr 11, 2015

All the Advice You’ll Ever Need

“Let me give you some advice.” How often have we heard that? We sometimes ask the opinions of friends or experts, but I know that unsolicited advice is not something people appreciate much. Which is why it is sometimes said that free advice is worth about as much as you pay for it. Or put another way: “Plain advice is free. The right answer will cost plenty.”
Personally, I don’t like advice unless I think I need it. And I’m careful about giving it, too. I know I’m not alone in this. American president Harry Truman once said, “I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.” At least that way your recommendation is followed.

One boy wrote in an essay on the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates: “Socrates was a man who went around town giving his advice and opinions, so...they poisoned him!” What this student lacks in historical accuracy he more than makes up for in his sense about how well most unsolicited advice is received.

The problem is...what works well for one person may not fit someone else. Take the wisdom offered by American baseball player Leroy “Satchel” Paige. His rules on living might have been all right for him, but they don’t suit most of us. Here is his counsel. Take it or leave it.

   “Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.
   If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
   Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
   Go very lightly on vices such as carrying on in society. The social ramble
   ain’t restful.
   Avoid running at all times.
   Don’t look back. Something may be gaining on you.”

Don’t hear me say that all advice should be discarded. Not at all. Nor should we overlook wisdom from unlikely sources. Like the “uneducated.” Or those from a bygone era.

I have a faded letter clipped from a newspaper many years ago. The author published some counsel given him by his grandmother who had died some 60 years prior, and who had never attended school. She offered it printed on a slip of paper, accompanied by the words, “All the advice you’ll ever need to have a good life.” I find it worth remembering. This is what she wrote:    

   “Wash what is dirty. 
   Water what is dry. 
   Heal what is wounded. 
   Warm what is cold. 
   Guide what goes off the road. 
   Love people who are least lovable, because they need it most.” *

There is lot of wisdom packed in those few words. And she said it best: “All the advice you’ll ever need to have a good life.”

– Steve Goodier

* (adapted from Abp. Stephen Langton  d. 1228)