There are just some things that are so wired inside of you that they pervade your thoughts and actions without you even thinking. Many of those things in my own life are due to my mother. So here are the things my mom taught me, and the same things I am passing on to my own children.
1) People are people. My mother taught me that no matter a person’s skin color, intelligence, abilities, or any other characteristic did not make them any less human. We are all people, whether young or old, disabled or perfect health, skinny or obese. And we are all loved by God.
This is something I am passing on to my own children. I share with them that inside, all of us are the same. We have feelings, we have a heart and lungs and kidneys, and we have dreams and fears. And that Jesus died for all of us. If you were to ask my children if a group of people are less than another, they will tell you people are people are people (that’s our phrase).
2) There is always room for hospitality. I remember my mom telling me that if people show up unexpected, throw some more water into the soup. And if there is floor space, then they have a place to stay the night.
We did not have much growing up. But mom always fed anyone who walked into our house. And we always offered what we could, including the couch or living room floor. In an apartment or trailer with only one bathroom and 3 bedrooms for 6 people to share, that wasn’t a lot of space. But we gave what we could, and guests were always fed and given a place to stay in my family’s home.
I practice that same rule of hospitality with my own family. Anyone who has ever been to my house knows that I will feed you till you pop :). And whether we are living in a large house or a tiny house, you will always have a place to stay with us (and we mean it!).
3) Respect the Elderly. My earliest memories were visiting my mom’s great aunt in the nursing home. I will admit, old people scared me and those trips were frightening. But mom would talk about how no one else would visit her and how much older people love seeing kids.
I was also taught to give up my seat if an older person came into the room and there were no more chairs available. She would remind me that my back was still young and I could sit on the floor. To this day, I will still sit on the floor and offer my chair to an older person.
No matter how grouchy an older person is, I was reminded to show honor and respect. Not always easy, but something I’m thankful I was taught to do. And I am now training my children to do the same thing.
I love my mom and am so thankful for the things she taught me. I have not always followed her instruction, but God has shown me the wisdom of my mom’s words. And now that I am a mom, I want to pass down that same wisdom.
How about you? What did your mother teach you?