Life Lessons

All I Really Needed to Know I Learned from My Mother and Father

(Adapted from Robert Fulghum -All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)

In Memory of my Parents – Albert and Antoinette

Auntie and Uncle Al at Canal
Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned from my mother and father. For me, learning was not found in formal schooling as much as it was listening to and observing my mother and father and other caring adults every day including the first day my mom walked me to Kindergarten.

These are the things I learned from my mother. Share your things.  Take turns. Don’t hurt people. When you are done using something, put it back where it belongs. Clean up the mess, whether it is yours or not. Wash your hands and face before you eat. Flush the toilet. Change your underwear every day. A little piece of homemade chocolate cake cures just about anything.  Live a balanced life, everything in moderation. Be thoughtful and be thankful.

These are the things I learned from my father. Learn something new every day and use your talents. Work hard and take pride in your work. Always do your very best. Use your mind, think first- then speak, and speak only if needed. Learn from others and share what you know. Life is not always fair – but treat others fairly. Forgive. Humor cures just about anything.

They both taught me that pets are like family members, care for them, love them, have fun with them. At some point you have to let them go. They die. So do we. Letting go is part of loving deeply.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all – the whole world – had our moms and dads and other loving adults teach us everything we needed to know about life.  These first few years are the foundation upon which every subsequent educational experience is built. When the foundation is strong the journey usually is as well. When the foundation is incomplete or unsteady the educational climb is challenging but not impossible.

I have discovered that everything really important in life can be learned without going to a place called “school.”

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