All I need to know
There was a book published a while back that was filed with simple and profound wisdom. The book’s title is; All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum.
Robert was largely right about many subjects but here is where I am at odds. All I really need to know, I learned from my parents — mostly my Mother. Our schools reinforced the lessons I learned at home.
My Father taught me to never fear any task, just get to the doing. Mother had a very direct way of teaching that was primarily focused on me (one of six children) because I needed more teaching than the others. Call it stubborn, obstinate or disinterested, I was a problem child, and Mother’s lessons usually had to be repeated several times before I got the message.
My Mother had a real commitment to my growth and the growth of the other five siblings. The problem was, I took most of her time and energy. She never quit. She would often double down.
What I learned at home, was what I took to school and into life.
My Mom taught me many things at home. Among the lessons:
* Always take the high road.
* Listen more than I talk and to not talk back.
* Get up every day and put my left foot in front of my right foot and start walking.
* Be dependable.
* Use proper language, no matter the circumstances.
* Don’t drink too much and never smoke.
* Eat as right as I could, and only as much as I need.
* Love my brothers and sisters.
* Respect the USA and to stand during the Pledge (because not standing was never an option).
* The teacher is always right.
* Don’t trust everybody, only they who truly deserved to be trusted
* Clean my room and to clean up after myself
* Hang around better people
* Expectations should be reasonable, but high
* You don’t have to settle for less. Just because you grew up somewhat poor, you do not have to stay poor
* Never stop leaning
* Go to Church and to pray
* Never leave the house unless without clean underwear.
She always added that, if I was in an accident, she would be embarrassed if my underwear were not clean. Still, to this day, I am a bit confused about the logic and importance of that directive.
I learned from someone who cared enough to teach, even to the point of pain.
Dennis Wade is the president and publisher of The Lawton Constitution. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.