Tuesday, July 19, 2005

July 19th: Birthday of Great (wo)Men

There are certain lessons that you just have to learn in life over time, and others which can be passed on from those in a position to make an impression upon us at an impressionable age. I've learned a number of important lessons in my time and many of them were taught to me by my Mother.

Mom taught me:

The value of cultural literacy.
- General knowledge of the right books and the right movies can lend a person a number of things. You can throw out an appropriate movie or book quote at just the right time. You can learn how to live and how not to live. You can tell by reading my blog regularly that books, movies, and music are important to me. I didn't come to this completely on my own, it was encouraged in my house and I'm glad for it today.

As far back as I can remember my Mom has been an avid reader. Searching through my memory, I can recall two books which emerge from the piles that I've seen her read: The Stand by Stephen King and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I've read both of these books now and I can see a lot of the values held dear by my Mom displayed by characters in both.

"There is so much ugliness out in the world. Why don't we try to be pleasant to one another while we're at home?"
- I can remember my Mom saying this to me years and years ago when I was pretty young. I have a sister who is two years my junior and a bother who is four years my junior, and when we were kids we were inclined to do what all kids do: fight. When we would fight my Mom would say that to us and eventually it really started to sink in. This is a life lesson that has stayed with me ever since. I've applied it to almost every aspect of my life. Two of my best friends in the entire world are my little sister and little brother, I don't know where I would be without them. I generally try to treat everyone I come across as pleasantly as possible, and I've generally come to be known as an easy going, pleasant kind of guy. I credit this to the above advice.

Today is my Mom's birthday and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for passing on some pretty good advice over the years. I learned a lot more than just the things I've mentioned here, but if I listed them all I'd be here all day.

Happy Birthday Mom! I hope that it's a great one!