“Its not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It is our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
~ L.R. Knost
Our Mother had this poem from Dorothy Law Nolte hanging in our home…
Children Learn What They Live
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and others. If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Our Father use to tease Mother saying she wasn’t realistic and looked at the world through rose colored glasses. I guess in a way that was true. Mother was optimistic and always had something positive to say about everyone and every situation. She was affectionately known as Smiley and conveyed her love and interest in others through her generous smile and focused attention. I remember hearing her tell our Father that it was her choice to look for the good. That whatever we look for in Life, we’ll find. She probably wouldn’t have related her thinking to the Law of Attraction yet she certainly practiced positive purposeful living.
Smiley also raised us by teaching her own rules and lessons:
"It’s not so much what you say, but how you say it that matters.
If you can’t change the situation, change your attitude.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
What lesson did you learn from this?
I may not like your behavior, but I always love you.
I am sorry. I made a mistake. I didn’t mean to hurt you.
Take responsibility for your actions.
Just because it’s different, doesn’t make it wrong.
We were not allowed to tell anyone to 'shut up' call someone, 'stupid', or use the word 'hate'. And rather than I can’t…I’ll try."
If we said we were bored we were sent to the encyclopedia to look something up! Or when we asked how to spell a word, we were directed to the dictionary to find our answer. My sisters & I often argued that this practice just didn’t make sense!
One of the most important lessons we were taught was regarding sharing information we had heard from someone else. Before passing on this information, we must have a yes answer to these three questions. Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
This May we celebrated our fourth Mothers Day without Mom. Although there continues to be a hole in my heart for her physical presence, I felt her Spirit everywhere hugs were given and laughter flowed freely. And when the sadness and heaviness of grief began to creep back in, I saw Smileys face and could hear her whisper in my ear, “Oh honey, don’t take Life so seriously.”
What is one thing you learned as a child that still serves you today?
Please share your experience in the comment section below.