My mother instilled in me many lessons for my future as a young child, many of which I carry with me throughout my life. But one stands out from the rest. With a seriousness that cannot be described, she asked of me one thing above all others.
“No matter what you do, please, learn from MY mistakes, and be a more successful person than I could ever be,” she said.
Since I’ve grow older, my interpretations of my mother’s wish have been tested and changed. When I was younger, I assumed she was speaking of success in business and wealth. You know, the usual “grow rich and famous” bit. As of late, I’ve come to realize precisely what she meant.
As a person, not one of us is perfect. Of course, our egos will mislead us. No one is perfect, but be the best person you can be. Be of good moral character, always tell the truth, take full responsibility for your actions and their consequences, be respectful to all, and the most important moral to me; no matter the consequences, stay true to yourself.
Even though I can say all these things, I do not always follow them. But that is the beauty of it all; without error, there is no room for personal growth.
I’ve learned, during my sixteen years, that a person is not critiqued based upon his or her wealth, popularity, or what he or she appears to be, but rather for who one is and what one stands for.
I do not come from a wealthy family. I was not born into any form of royalty. But that does not limit my abilities or me as a person. Every single individual is limited to nothing. A person’s effort however, will limit him or her. This is yet another lesson my mother was trying to teach me.
We, as people, have a choice. Every single one of us has a voice, whether we choose to use it or not. Each one of us can make our own decisions. The decision that matters most to me is that of dedication and effort, or laziness and a life full of regrets.
These things I carry with me, every single day, and I will for the rest of my life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.