Thursday, November 5, 2009

Childhood Lessons Re-Learned

When you were little, your parents probably supplied your first ideas
about life. They were simplified thoughts, made so you could
understand them and be the best little person you could be. With
deeper interpretation, the rules and ideas they gave you are still
applicable in different forms today. I reached out to my Twitter
family for some of the tried and true lessons that lingered with them,
and by adding thoughts from an older perspective, we can see that
mothers might still know best.

Lessons on Reality: “Your life is not a box of chocolates. You don't
have it that good." – Submitted by Jamal Blackamore (@mallymunster)

A parent’s job is to get their child ready for the world, and a big
part of this is helping them to understand reality. Jamal’s mother’s
edit to the famous Forrest Gump line may seem a bit disheartening but
there’s no shame in this if her words are meant to help him understand
where they sit in life at that present time. All too often we find
ourselves surrounded by people who shine only the positive light on
our lives, scared to tell us that we truly CAN be doing better than
what we’re doing right now. But if everything is all good, we don’t
have anything to work toward. What facet of your being would you like
to improve? Once you’ve recognized it, FIX IT. She said “…you don’t
have it that good,” but she never said you can’t. This thought should
inspire progressive thinking for all of us.

Lessons on Ease and Avoidance: “Hold your nose and you won’t taste
it.” – Submitted by Lauren Watts (@MissLWatts)

By this time in our lives, we’ve learned there are things we do simply
because we have to do them. It’s called paying your dues and there’s
really no easy way out of that. Lauren’s mom is trying to encourage
her to do something she’s not interested in, so she’s showing her that
you can make things as painless as possible. Whether or not this
method works is one thing, but the important idea is some things just
have to be done the best way you know how. When you actively take a
step to completing a task, usually they become ideas of mind over
matter. Is there anything in your life you are putting off because you
can’t ‘hold your nose’ to do it? You empower your challenges by
thinking they are bigger than you. Nelson Mandela once stated “I
learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over
it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who
conquers that fear.” There will always be things you don’t want to do,
and it’s understandable to be afraid of tasks sometimes. Just know
that you have the power to move past them.

Lessons on Faith: “Allah said share.” – Submitted by Hayatt Osman (@hosman3)

Faith is the driving force of our lives in one way or another. Whether
you believe in a traditional religion, spirituality of some sort, or
if you only believe in yourself, what consumes your soul controls the
tempo for your life. Hayatt’s parents wanted her to know that beyond
their reach, there must be something else to drive her to be the best
individual she could be. “Allah” represents the faith she needs to
have in a higher power, and “share” represents the faith she needs to
have that her actions affect others. Her parents are reminding her
that she is a part of something bigger than she understands, and she
should act accordingly. Hellen Keller said “never bend your head. Hold
it high. Look the world straight in the eye.” No matter what you
believe, even the most ordinary situations can have extraordinary
effects. Be sure your actions reflect what you want to put out into
the world. Remember what is most high to you, and don’t just sit and
look at the right path, step by step, walk on it.

Lessons on Growing Up: “Enjoy being a kid as much as you can because
once you grow up, you can’t turn back.” – Submitted by Nikita Chinery

Well, you’re here now. What are you doing that proves you’ve put aside
those childish things? Can you really see strong growth from your
childhood days until now? Do you really know what you believe in? Have
you learned fundamentals, like how to manage your money? Are you an
active citizen; what are your political views? Now that you aren’t a
child, your parent’s views should only be steering you so far. Are you
continuing to define yourself as an individual? Once, you were being
shaped to be the best little person you could be. Now it’s your turn
to take all that you know and continue to shape yourself.

Follow me on Twitter: @The_SJB

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