We all have that childhood (er, lifetime) movie that is our ultimate favorite. The one that we loved as a kid and always pull back out to watch on during those mid winter flu days (like today). The Goonies is mine. Not only is it fun and silly and heartwarming, but it taught me some pretty valuable life lessons at a pretty young age, and well, even now, I seem to learn something new every time I rewatch it. Here’s some of my favorite lessons…
1. Everyone loves the underdog,…because we can all identify with the underdog. There is something about most of us that can identify with not really fitting in, with feeling like sometimes the world is against us, and yet always hoping for something better. Most of us feel like a Goonie many days.
2. There is part of each of us that seeks adventure even though “nothing exciting ever happens in this town.” Even though, especially as adults, we have settled into our routine and our expectation of the norm in our lives, there is still a little part in us that perks up whenever we think adventure might be brewing. Some of us merely observe adventure around us, some of us dismiss it as childish, and some of us chase it.
3. We have to face our fears, and even break the rules a bit, to get what we want. We just do. We aren’t ever gonna find secret pirate treasure if we stay dry in the house on those dreary rainy asthmatic days. There are often consequences for hunting for treasure, but it beats being stuck in the house that’s just gonna get torn down tomorrow anyway.
4. We all have something to offer. We all have different gifts and whether we are a natural born leader, a quirky inventor, speak Spanish, play piano, or randomly give pep talks reminding everyone of their humanity, we have a vital role to play in your group of players. Your gifts will be needed and you never know when. Even the biggest screw up might just save the day.
5. But you can’t play every single role so sometimes you need to ask for help. Your vision might be yours alone, others may have different goals ultimately, but sometimes we have to ask for and accept help along the way. Whether your goal is find a secret stash of pirate treasure, or to just get out of the house, or to tag along because you always back your friends, or to find love, or to protect your kid brother, sometimes the journey takes us to the same place for awhile. Chester Copperpot wishes he would have known that.
6. Every life lesson needs a killer sound track. Do you ever have certain songs that pop in your head when you are trying to conquer something in your life. Or do you ever suddenly burst out into random sound effects when you are experiencing a certain emotion? Ok, so maybe I’m the only one, but I dare you to try it. It will be EPIC “Dun-dun-dun!!!!”
7 . Sometimes you just have to take the plunge. When you have unknown risk ahead of you, and bad guys chasing you, sometimes you just gotta give up calculating the odds, and go forward. Take the plunge, which might get you even further into danger, or might take you down a set of really cool waterslide cliffs, and more danger. Either way, the “unknown ahead” usually has far more options than the “known behind you.” Just jump.
8. When you find the treasure, don’t be greedy. Only take what you need to survive or to help others survive. Getting greedy just weighs you down on your journey home. Plus, ya know, booty traps. I mean, booby traps. That’s what I said. Booby traps.
9. When it comes down to it, sometimes the adventure itself is enough even if you can’t bring the treasure back with you or convince anyone else that the treasure really ever existed. Helping others, beating the bad guys, fighting to LIVE, the chase itself, even if no one ever even believes you, is where the real treasure is. Although it always helps if you stash a few jewels away in your marble bag. (9a. Always carry a marble bag).
10. Never give up. Whatever your goal really is, whatever it is you seek, never stop chasing it. Goonies never say die.