What I learned from my Mother

“All that I am or hope to be, I owe it to my mother.”
~ Abraham Lincoln.

My Mom is an extraordinary woman. I have known many mothers of my friends and I have met many smart women in my life yet no one has ever come close to the life wisdom of my mother. Her life stance was always rock-solid and consistent with her high-minded principles.

Here are the things that I learned from my mother — things that I will teach my children.

Remember, my example with the medical encyclopedia? This happened every time I asked her a question. She would always tell me to go and find answers in books. The habit of getting my nose into primary sources laid the foundation for my research skills.

When my future children ask about something I will, of course, try to explain what I can to the extent of my knowledge but afterward, I will educate them the way my Mom did — they will have to roll the sleeves up and dig the answers by themselves. Chances are they won’t even bother with reading and simply ask Google anyway.

In the first several years of life, a child remains in his most egocentric state. He judges the world by his own standards that are constructed solely based on his narrow conception of the world and limited life experience. His ability to emphasize and see things from others’ perspectives is limited.

For instance, when I was little and played with other kids, I wanted them to do what I want. I was giving orders and it made me angry when I couldn’t have them obeyed. My mother was the first one to explain to me the principles of personal freedom. She explained that the incongruity between my vision of the world and the vision of another person is totally normal but it is not a reason for conflict.

Kids grew up but the rules remain the same. My freedom ends at the border where the freedom of another person begins. I must neither bend people’s behavior to my liking nor coerce them to act as I please. The most optimal way to get what I want is to make sure that the game I offer to play is a non-zero-sum game for all parties involved.

My mother was the first person to explain to me that all living beings feel pain. Understanding that I should be respectful to the lives of others and not serve as a source of their suffering was an important part of my education. By fostering compassion and humanness, my mother built the foundation for all of my future conscious acts of kindness.

My mother taught me how to fix some basic meals and told me that every man must know how to cook. She tasked me with chores seeding in me what later developed into a sense of neatness. I am thankful that she raised me as a man of precision and meticulous organization. I learned that through the order of environment a man can achieve an order of thought. I grew to understand that clean habits is first and foremost a sign of the hygiene of the mind.

My brother was born in 1994. To this day, I still see him as the best gift in my life I have ever received from my parents. Since his first day on Earth and till my last he will remain my personal miracle.

Mother taught me what makes a good older brother. This is something that someone who has grown up as a single child will never understand. The sense of responsibility that starts to develop with the birth of a younger sibling becomes a core of the total responsibility. From my mother, I learned that there should be minimum two kids in a family.

I feel for all children who grew up without a mother’s love. The best mornings of my childhood started with a Mom’s kiss. From her, I learned what is love in the family. For me, her life was always an exemplar of how a woman should fulfill her duties as a mother, as a daughter, as a wife, and as a keeper of home-fire. This knowledge is beyond price because she not only gave me a concept of what a virtuous woman should be but also set high standards for my future wife.

Thank you for your love, Mom.
I love you.

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