Thank mothers for teaching us to be strong

When one thinks of the multitude of concepts of life our mothers tried to teach us along the way, it is difficult to know where to begin. Today, I will attempt to select only a couple that seem to be most valuable along the path of life.

Kindness is a virtue we should all wish for, and at times, the most difficult to accomplish. There is a kindness needed for those less fortunate than you. That includes the less financially blessed, the less intellectually blessed, and the hardest of all to feel kindness toward ... those who treat you unkindly and unfairly, with disregard for your own personal issues and struggles. Kindness in itself has a multitude of manifestations. Empathy for those who lack less material things in life, which clearly make life easier, is an example. Everyone is not blessed with the same intellectual capacities or opportunities, and have their own personal struggles to get through life comfortably. Kindness is the one thing that can make the day, week, or month better for them. We often forget that simple acts of kindness from those of us who were blessed with more opportunity can be the thing that helps those with less accomplish more.

The most difficult to show kindness toward are those individuals who mistreat us, even ourselves, with their sense of self-righteousness and some degree of a perception that they feel more superior, righteous and privileged over the general population. This, my friend, takes effort. But, if you can accomplish this, it will make you feel much better about life and circumstances in your own life that you wish were different. This may be the most difficult situation to demonstrate a degree of empathy and kindness toward in my mind ... the self-righteous and anointed crowd.


A second important lesson mothers taught us, I think, falls under mental toughness, and resiliency is another wonderful trait mothers teach along the way. How to get through the difficult, seemingly impossible times that life presents, with the belief that you can persevere and survive, to not only endure, but come out a stronger person. If you live long enough, challenges will occur, and you will need this character trait over time. Life will present challenges you did not anticipate in the form of illness, financial downturns, family disappointment and deaths. In actuality, an endless group of issues you never plan to encounter will challenge you along life's pathway. Courage and mental toughness your mother taught you will need to recall, fall back on, to move forward. It is a part of life to have difficult periods. A belief in God will not prevent or insulate you from these. Belief in God and "what mother says" will help you get through these periods, and to the other side of troublesome times with grace and more strength along with a belief in your ability to persevere.

So, on Mother's Day, thank her for teaching you both kindness toward others and the lessons of strength to carry on to be a better person. If you have these characteristics in your behavior pattern, most likely your mother taught them to you along the way. Most likely she taught these in a subtle way without directly addressing the issues of mental toughness, most likely she taught you by example.

Mickey Wallace, MD is a Northsider.


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