About Lessons, Learning, and Legacies
My mom rarely gave answers. As early as I can remember, her way was to ask questions. Questions that allowed me to find my own answers. She was my greatest teacher, and a living example of my favorite definition of what a great teacher is:
“A teacher is one who inspires, motivates, and provides vast knowledge
and insight to others.” (author unknown)
Short of stature, thin, and quiet, my mother was a most unassuming person. Of German ancestry, she had an unenviable childhood, and was thrust into the roles of an adult at an early age. While she was never able to finish a formal education, she was well-spoken and well read. The school of hard knocks had taught her well about life and people, and she was full of wisdom. Yes, her life was all about lessons, learning, and legacies.
7 Lessons: The Legacy of My Mother
By example and by word, these are the lessons she taught:
- Hard work is good for the body and the soul.
- Never ask anyone to do that which you are not willing to do yourself.
- Treat others with respect. Who they are matters more than what they are or their history.
- Deal with others fairly, as you’d like to be dealt with.
- Complaining gets you nowhere. Taking action and being responsible does.
- There’s always a way to live within your means. You just have to decide to do it.
- People always matter more than stuff.
These are the same valuable lessons that I try to teach my own children. While I may leave them worldly possessions, that is my real and only legacy.
The eyes of our parents and grandparents may grow dim. They may move slower and with more caution. But inside, they contain a wealth of wisdom. That is their legacy.
Perhaps someday I will write my own mother’s story. For the present, if you’d like to engage in a wonderfully inspiring read about the insights our elders have to offer us, you’ll want to pick up a copy of “Legacy of Wisdom” by Gabrielle V. Taylor. It made me smile and cry as I read of the author’s Grandma Valentine, whose story paralleled my own mother’s story in many ways. You’ll feel the loving lessons and wisdom of those who know that their greatest calling is to teach us. Because we are their legacy just as our children are ours.