My grandpa turned 84 years old last month. Now, when someone is 84, you listen. My grandpa has been around the block more than a few times and he’s no pushover. This local boy from Kauai grew up spear-fishing for his dinner and 

then gnawing on sugarcane for dessert. If that’s not “tough,” I don’t know what is!

My grandpa may not be the most educated man, but he’s witty and has a heart of gold. Over the years I’ve spared myself a lot of tears by learning from his actions, lessons and stories.

Grandpa’s lessons (in my words):
• Value family first.
• Don’t yell and don’t nag.
• Sometimes it’s OK (and even good) just to keep your mouth shut.
• Throw right versus wrong out the window to maintain peace in your relationship.
• Save your money – the one who spends it all has nothing left but a bunch of debt and a lot of stuff!
• Work hard – even if you’ve got personal problems, never let people at work know.
• Never stay home from work because you are depressed or sad.
• Enjoy good food.
• The best meals are those made with love and shared with those we love, even when using paper napkins.
• Appreciate other people’s generosity.
• Give just for the sake of giving.
• Look at the big picture – 10, 20, 30 years from now, who do we want by our side?
• Don’t fight over small stuff.
• When you get older, you spend a lot of time with your spouse, so you better like them (at least some of the time).
• It’s OK to argue, but never say mean things – you can’t take those words back.
• Family is the key to happiness.
• Everyone likes cake and presents, even if they say they don’t.
• No one is entitled to anything – expect to work for what you want.
• Don’t try to control other people.
Never say anything bad about other people; it will get back to them.
• Remember to be grateful for all the wonderful gifts in our lives.
• Look at the good in people – let their faults slide.
• Don’t take everything so seriously.
• Laugh a little – or a lot!
• Be early – it avoids stress.
• Apologize when you are wrong.
• Be honest and have your own set of standards. Others will respect you, and more importantly – you will respect yourself.
• Make sure to get enough sleep, food and rest – your brain needs it.
• Every day is a good day.


Malisa Uchida is the co-host of “Saturday nights with Steve Bohlen and Malisa Uchida” on KHVH 830am - Saturday from 6pm to 9pm. She can be reached at