Top 10 things your parents told you that are worth noting

By Erica Wood-Bedi

10. Don’t stuff your mouth: I tell my son this all the time, but it’s true. I’m so happy when I see him savoring flavors rather than gobbling down all of his food. It means he’s enjoying the journey.

9. R-e-s-p-e-c-t: In a given day I might talk to or work with young children, teenagers, young adults and senior citizens. I marvel how much simpler things would be if every person could respect the rights of others’ opinions and personal space, no matter how different from their own.

8. Let go of the bad and focus on the good: For me, this is a work in progress. I was not raised to be happy, exactly; the better word would be “long-suffering.” I was told to accept that there would be pain in this life, but many pleasures in the next. I still believe that, but I also believe we can achieve some level of contentment here on Earth. I am learning to let go and see the joy in living a good, clean life.

7. Good things come to those who wait: Patience is one virtue that I do not have. God bless those of you who can sit quietly and wait. I’ll get there someday.

6. You’re not alone: It makes me happy when my son asks about the moon and the stars. It means he knows to look up every once in a while and notice God’s beauty. No matter what or who you believe in, trust them to see you through all of the coming hard times.

5. It’s OK to be afraid, but it’s not OK to not try: When my son says he needs help with something I know he can do, I tell him to try it by himself first. I want him to know that it’s fine to fail, and there’s no shame in asking for help. The shame is in giving up before you’ve lifted a finger or expended a drop of effort.

4. You’ll understand when you’re older: Perhaps this has already come true for you, or maybe your time is coming. Today’s parents are certainly more open than in generations past, but there are some things children just won’t understand until they’re older.

3. School is your job: if you’re here, you’re doing your job well. Hopefully, you’ll be hired back here next semester.

2. Almost doesn’t count: Your parents told you to finish what you start, and they’re right. Quitting college one credit short of a degree doesn’t count as finishing. Have the courage and strength to see it out until the (sometimes) bitter end.

1. Hate is a four-letter word: Sometimes I feel that familiar sting of bitterness and anger taking hold of me. I realize I’m the one hurting as I try to hold it all inside. The other person doesn’t know (and maybe doesn’t care) how I feel. I’m working towards something I wouldn’t quite call forgiveness—just the ability to let go of more things more often.