A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a file folder
I had forgotten about.
The label on the folder simply said “My Mother.”
When we consider our parents, teachers, friends, neighbors, spiritual leaders, mentors, and even total strangers with whom we interact, it is obvious that we do not live in a vacuum. Each leaves an imprint. Each creates an impression and we take a little away from each encounter.
Of all of the influences in our lives, each of us has a person or two (or more) who stand out above all others. To these people we are grateful for their lessons.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a file folder I had forgotten about. The label on the folder simply said “My Mother.” Inside I found notes from a little exercise I did with my students more than four years ago. I asked them to think about the significant people in their lives. I had asked them to complete this sentence: “I am glad my mother taught me to….” I do remember, as I think back, that I gave them the option to substitute another person for “mother” if it were more appropriate in their lives. Some substituted “father” or “grandmother” or “girlfriend.”
- I transcribed and categorized my students’ comments. Here is a sampling from more than four single-spaced pages of notes:
I’m glad my mother taught me to …
- Be strong and believe in myself
- Be chivalrous and respectful
- Control my anger
- Worship God
- Speak properly in public
- Respect myself and others
- Look both ways before crossing the street
- Not be a follower
- Follow the Golden Rule
- Do my best at everything
- Not leave things to the last minute
- Have manners
- Bring a pen to class
- Take my schoolwork seriously
- Be independent
- Be honest
- Manage my finances
I found it interesting—but not surprising—that most of their comments fit into the “civility” category. Others like “persistence” and “independence” appeared often.
How would you complete the sentence: “I am glad my mother taught me to…”?
At the time my students were writing their thoughts, I jotted down my own responses to the prompt. These included:
- Be a gentleman
- Write thank you notes
- Put things back where I found them
- Get an education
- Not build debt
- Not smack my gum like a cow chewing cud
- Be punctual
- Do homework as soon as I got home from school
- Save money
- Get a job
- Do a good job every day
It’s your turn. To whom are you grateful for a life lesson? What did he/she/they teach you? Why not thank those people today?
Video recommendation for the week:
Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
I will announce details for my 2013 webinar series on Monday, January 7, 2013. The theme for the year is THE YEAR OF THE DREAM! Check my website for the most up-to-date information. The first webinar, Priority Management: Doing the Right Stuff at the Right Time, is scheduled for January 23, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. Click here for registration information.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please pass it (and any of the archived posts on this site) along to friends and colleagues. You can also follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli). Also, if you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment. Have a wonderful week!
©2013. Steve Piscitelli.