I believe in my mother. I know most children do, but saying it as a teen, I feel it carries much more impact. So I say it now: I believe in my mother perfectly, unquestioningly, not least because we seem to agree on nearly everything. She and I are like the same person, one future, one past, but both in the same present.
She taught me many things, but the first and most important was always, ‘love yourself’. Never falter in loving who you are, what you are. Never tell yourself that you’re ugly, never tell yourself that you’re stupid. Be unashamed. Feel beautiful, and you will look it, feel smart, and someday you will achieve it. One is not set in stone, but is a living, breathing person, capable of mutations and changes galore. Wear your skin and hair and face and heart like designer clothing. She told me this in not so many words every day and I took it to heart, and still do. I relish myself, my shortcomings as well as talents, because they’ve made the person that so many other people are proud to call a friend.
She taught me compassion. Don’t hate someone just because they stutter when they speak. Don’t make fun of or ignore them just because they happen to different. Talk to them. Treat them like you would any other person, and pass on the love a little bit. Who knows, you could meet the person who ends up being your best friend or saving your life, and all because you decided to delve a little deeper.
She taught me to fight the man, the oppressor. Don’t let them push you down, stereotype you, sort you into neat little sects for them to catalogue and file away. Don’t let commercialism or money monopolize your life and push out love and happiness and all the things that really matter. Don’t get so lost in personal gain that you forget that there’s others around you.
She taught me that everyone’s life is their own. Do what you wish, but don’t condemn others who do things you would never do – it’s their life, their body, their choice.
Most importantly, she taught me to love.. Everything and everyone, regardless of who or what they are. She taught me to accept, to reserve judgment until I’ve got evidence, to always give someone the benefit of my doubt. She taught me to forgive, but not to forget: oh no. Forgive and learn, my friends. Save up your past mistakes, so that you can learn from them in time, and perhaps love even more because of it. The world could always use a little more love.
I believe in my Mother, soundly and perfectly. Above all, though, I believe in the ideals of love she instilled in me. According to a famous quote, “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return” , and I’m grateful of my mother for helping me understand what that truly means.
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