I was going through a bunch of my old papers at mum and dad’s house the other day, and I came across a letter from mum, from 2002, just before I went overseas for 2 years. It was advice mum wanted to pass on to me to help “get me through life”. Reading it, I wanted to laugh and cry simultaneously; laugh because some of it I had taken on, cry because it reminded me of mum as she used to be.
So, in the spirit of sharing loving advice, here are these words of wisdom from my mum, almost 10 years ago:
- Remember always think of other people and not about yourself.
- Never drop your standards, always put your best foot forward, never dress in a slovenly manner. And always have clean shoes. It is not too late to change.
- If you haven’t got something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.
- Don’t worry about sex again, it will be wonderful once you meet Mr. Right.
- Once you have completed uni (at this stage I had no intention of going to uni!) get a safe job in public service; you will live longer and feel secure.
- This is a quotation from Charles Kingsley: “Be good sweet maid and let who will be clever”. Guess this doesn’t make sense to you. In a nut shell I would like to think of goodness as honesty, tolerance, trust, generosity, and kindness, to oneself and others. Remember this through your life.
- Don’t let anyone know if you are down on your luck and never boast about good fortune to someone less fortunate than yourself.
- Try not to cry in public and never let people know that they have hurt your feelings. (This is old fashioned now, my dad used to tell me this).
- From now on be careful who you associate with. If you mix with crows you will crow like them.
- If your second toe is longer than your first toe you have profound will and determination. (Boy, is it ever and do I ever!!)
- Always go for quality instead of tat and rubbish. You mostly won’t appreciate this at the moment.
- I remember already telling you this but never leave home without a change of underwear, you might get caught.
- If you look a million dollars you’ll make a million dollars.
- Make sure when you complete uni get a job where you go to work in a suit or smart attire.
It was really nice to read this after such a long time, and now, as a parent, I can really understand where mum was coming from. So I decided I should come up with a few pieces of advice for my boys when they’re older. I have a few already under my belt but the rest will have to come slowly, I think.
What about you? What was the best piece of advice you ever received and who was it from? What was the best piece of advice (or worst) your parents ever gave you? What would you want to pass on to your kids?