Words of wisdom from my mother

This Sunday will be a special day for mothers all across this country as we celebrate Mother’s Day. For many of us, our mothers might be the most influential person in our lives. Where would we be without them? Chances are that for every outstanding citizen in our society, there is an outstanding mother who helped raise that person. I personally credit my own mother for so many positive things about myself. Early on in my life, she taught me the importance of having good manners and being respectful to others. If I got out of line, she would discipline me and send me off to my room for a time out. I certainly needed a lot of timeouts when I was a young child!! Besides teaching me those things, my mom was very good at giving me some words of wisdom and those words of advice have never been forgotten. One bit of advice still lingers with me many years later.

Sometime during my late teenage years, I was having a bad day and started complaining about my life to mom. You know, the small little things that teenagers like to complain about. I cannot remember specifically what I was complaining about, but my mom eventually heard enough and started lecturing me about being thankful. Yes being thankful! “Mark, you have so many things to be thankful for in your life, you have a great family who loves you, many good friends who are very supportive, a nice house to live in, etc”. She listed off about 20 things about myself that I should be thankful for. My attitude after that lecture turned 180 degrees. I thought to myself, yes, I do have plenty to be thankful for. Why am I complaining and moaning about such petty things?

About 4 years ago, I faced a serious 4 month crisis in my life that fully tested me emotionally, physically and spiritually. All along the way, my mom’s words of encouragement and support helped me out through some of the darkest days ever in my life. I felt extremely down about my situation, but my mom’s positive words really helped me to face and conquer this crisis. She constantly harped on me to remain positive and to be thankful for each small step of recovery. Today I look back and can never thank my mom enough for her support during those tough times in 2010.

It is almost like we are born to feel negative about ourselves and our personal situations. We tend to dwell on those petty little issues that come up. Maybe things did not go well at work today for you and you are feeling depressed and stressed out. Well, just be thankful that you have a job!! Perhaps you are not happy about a certain personal medical condition that was just discovered by your doctor. In many cases, people get all bent out of shape over a diagnosis that is really not all that serious. Just be thankful that you do not have some serious medical condition that puts you in the hospital for months.

About a month ago, I was rather disappointed in myself after playing basketball. Nothing seemed to go well according to my standards. I was a little down on myself, then it dawned on me. Just 4 years ago, I was dreaming about just stepping on the court to play again. I should be very thankful for just getting a chance to play ball again. I always think about my mom’s positive messages for just about everything. I try to dwell on what is RIGHT in my life and it has really made me a happier person. But most of all, I am very grateful and thankful to have her as my mother. Someday, my mom will pass away but her words about thankfulness and staying positive will never be forgotten by me.

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