As my parents raised me, they offered a lot of advice, mixed in with the occasional threat when I was naughty, but mostly advice on how to get through this world. Their advice ranged from dating tips to helping the world become a better place. I want to share with you the advice which has stuck with me into my adulthood.
Look before you leap
In my home growing up we had bean bags instead of couches. They were overstuffed, soft and
Don't wait until the last dog is hung
I like to procrastinate, which means I like to put off ‘til tomorrow what I should do today. My parents raised seven children and things had to be organized or they slipped through the cracks of day-to-day living. I have to admit I wasn’t always the most helpful when it came to making organization a priority. More than once I was told it’s too late if you wait until the last dog is hung. This advice was doled out when I “forgot” to finish a school assignment, neglected to clean my room and was not able to go play with friends, or anything which had a time limit and my own effort had to be stirred and I failed to apply myself until it was too late.
Remember who you are
My mom would utter the words “remember who you are” when I was going to be out of her sight and she wanted me to behave. My reply was always a noncommittal, “I know, mom.” Essentially she was telling me that my actions reflect not only on me, but the family as a whole. I shouldn’t suck as a human because she raised me better than that, and if I did start to slip there would be repercussions. It was always a mental speed bump if I was tempted to deviate from what my parents expected of me.
If a man honks for you in the driveway he better not come to the door
My father is a gentleman and treats my mother like a lady. He gives me a great example of what to look for in a man and is a constant standard of how I should expect to be treated. When I was approaching the age of sixteen, I was watching television with my dad and on the sitcom a boy was picking up his date from her home. The guy honked his horn and waited for the girl to come out. My dad turned to me and said, “If a boy ever honks for you in the driveway, he better not come to the door.” He relapsed into silence, and I was reminded that my dad cared for me too much to let me date someone who will not treat me like a lady.
Were you born in a barn?
What goes around comes around
My parents are wonderful examples of kindness and service to friends, family, and strangers. As a child, I didn’t understand why my father would pull over to help a stranded fellow traveler, pay the toll for the car behind on a bridge, or simply listen when someone at the store would strike up a conversation. It seemed to me as a child that if I gave to someone else there was going to be less for me. When I would complain to my parents the response more often than not would be, “What goes around comes around.”
I have learned over the years how vital it is to think outside of only my needs and be willing to give kindness and service to people who will never be able to pay me back. Kindness breeds kindness and what you put out to the world comes back as an echo.
If you are done learning you might as well kick up your heels and die
My amazing parents have been the strongest influence in my life. They steered me in the right direction, but they let me learn the truth of their words with my own experiences. What advice have your parents offered which you chose to or not to heed? How did it turn out? Let me know in a comment.