I was taught that respect was given before it was earned, and that politeness is never out of season. I was taught that a job worth doing was worth doing right the first time, and that the world doesn’t owe me a favor. I was raised to say ma’am and sir, and if that’s offensive I’m sorry, but it’s how I roll.
I was raised to believe that chivalry isn’t dead, and to accept it gratefully. I was taught to believe the best in others, and to always respect their time. I was taught that my word is my bond, that what I do and say reflects on my family, so to choose wisely.
I was taught that love is unconditional, and that kindness and a strong work ethic are part of a good person’s fabric. I was taught that if I said I’d be there at five, to be there a little early—and that if I was going to be late it had better be a rare thing and to call and let somebody know or have a good reason why I didn’t.
I was taught to appreciate the little things in life and not to sass my parents—even when I thought they were wrong—because they were the parents, that’s why. Plus, they were older and had been around the block more times.
As I’ve gotten older I have come to appreciate my upbringing all the more as I observe the way people treat one another.
I will always be grateful that my parents didn’t have to worry about getting arrested for spanking a child because I’m far from perfect but I love and serve people from the heart whether they love and serve me in return–and sadly they often don’t.
I am glad I’m the woman I am today, imperfect but striving to improve and glad for the chance to live in this big wide world for a time. And when God calls me home, I hope He is as happy to see me as I will be glad to see Him, and to at last be reunited with my parents who thought enough of me to do the hard thing and choose parenting over the buddy system.
I thank God that I was raised, not lowered, believed in and not ignored, celebrated and not simply tolerated.
My prayerful longing is to hand down a legacy of parenting that will keep producing good people who are grateful for the way they were raised.
Because the world is a better place when parents really are parents. It lets kids be kids who have a fighting chance of growing up to be good parents themselves.
I owe a great debt of gratitude to my parents for taking the high road and raising me up.
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