Our mom was full of sound advice. When we were growing up, I remember hearing a lot of “stand up straight” and “get that hair out of your pretty face.” As teenagers, we heard, “you don’t have a curfew but just remember, nothing good happens after midnight.” When the grandchildren began arriving, I remember her saying, “it’s impossible to spoil a child by loving him/her.” And one of my favorites, “Happiness lies not the absence of challenges, but in how we respond to those challenges.”
After we grew up, she used to call us at our jobs very early in the morning, long before we showed up for work; she was an early morning riser. She would leave us voice mail messages which we listen to as soon as we clocked in. Her voice was a comfort and those little nuggets of wisdom were a great way to begin the workday.
Years before Facebook made sharing our points of view so convenient, when Mark Zuckerberg was still in diapers, our mom was sharing nuggets of wisdom with her kids thru voicemail messages and cards sent via snail mail. Here is a sampling of the stuff she thought was important enough to leave for us. I am certain there were more, but these 30 ended up on a memorial photo of her created by Solveig’s friends, Pam and Bill Corrigan.
Live beneath your means.
Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.
Treat everyone you meet as you want to be treated.
Admit your mistakes.
Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say ‘no’ politely and quickly.
Don’t expect life to be fair.
Never underestimate the power of forgiveness.
Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
Instead of using the word “problem” try using the word “opportunity.”
Never walk out on a quarrel with your spouse.
Give yourself a year and read the Bible cover to cover.
Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.
Forget committees. New noble world changing ideas usually come from one person working alone.
Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.
Donate two pints of blood every year.
Make new friends but cherish the old ones.
Street musicians are a treasure. Stop for a moment and listen, then leave a small donation.
Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage.
Wage war against littering.
Never take action when you’re angry.
Have good posture. Enter a room with purpose and confidence.
Don’t procrastinate. Do what needs doing when it needs to be done.
Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on their deathbed, “Gee, I wish I had spent more time at the office.
Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”
Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sorry.”
Make a list of 25 things you want to experience before you die. Carry it in your wallet. Refer to it often.
Overtip breakfast waitresses.
Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
Compliment three people each day.