It was no secret that as a child, I was very…well, strong willed in my ways. However, as I reflect on the relationship between my parents and me, there are several things they taught me without even realizing it. Mom and Dad, thank you for teaching me to be selfless, for teaching me to be kind in a world that seems to celebrate hatefulness, and for teaching me to face my trials with optimism.
It isn’t always about you. Of course, my parents made my siblings and me the center of their world. There was never a moment that went by that my needs were not attended to, a hug was not given, and laughter was not shared. However, my parents always made it a point to give the exact amount of attention to each child. I won’t lie, as a child I was never afraid of the video camera (ask my siblings), but when it came down to it my parents taught me that it was not all about what I wanted. They taught me to think of our family as a team. We have to do what is best for the team, even if it isn’t what we wanted from the start. In the end, I realized how important it is to understand that sometimes we have to do what is best for others.This decision ranged from where we ate on Sunday after church to what time we got up on Christmas morning until present day 2017.
Kill them with kindness. Speaking on behalf of the ladies in this world, it is no secret that the female species can be, well, how do I put this lightly? Hateful, deceitful, ruin your life with a word, spiteful, and the list continues. However, my parents would always say “Kill them with kindness.” Sometimes my middle school aged mind would wander off to other things I wanted to do to the mean girls at school. In the end, however, replying with a nice word or smile to a hateful comment threw those girls for a loop. Boom! Momma, you were the angel I needed in facing the literal hell on earth that is grade school and high school. This approach applies to many other aspects of life. Whether it be a co-worker, family member, or even the mean girls at school, it is so hard for people to respond with something hateful when given only a smile and cordial words to compete with.
Be a victor, not a victim. My parents taught me that trials come our way to make us stronger. They taught me that God knows our needs before we do and that His blessings can take their course in some of the most unforeseen circumstances. A pity party will only reflect on your character. They have always been sensitive to whatever trials were thrown my way, yet they helped me in understanding that character is all about facing your trials as a victor, instead of constantly playing the victim. Thank you both for reminding me that without trials, there would be no possible way to shape our character.
Thank you, mom…dad for teaching me so much without even realizing it. Thank you for teaching me that kindness never goes out of style, thank you for teaching me that trials sharpen us to be the best version of ourselves, and most of all, for reminding me that it is okay to challenge something and to let my voice be heard.