April 7, 2008

What Kids Need to Know: The Contest

Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, who has terminal pancreatic cancer, has attempted to distill a lifetime of parental advice for his children because he knows he won’t be around to deliver it in person. The result is “The Last Lecture,'’ an inspirational new book that outlines Dr. Pausch’s ideas for achieving one’s childhood dreams.

The book is based on a final lecture Dr. Pausch gave his students and colleagues last fall that later became an Internet sensation. (To see the video, click here.) As Dr. Pausch told me when I met with him recently, he has been surprised how many parents have written to him, letting him know that his lecture inspired meaningful conversations with their own kids.

Dr. Pausch is the focus of my Well column this week in Science Times. Talking with him made me think about the advice my own parents gave me, and the advice I want to give my own child. In honor of Dr. Pausch, the Well blog is hosting a contest seeking examples of great parental advice, either dispensed or received. What is the best advice your parents gave you? If you were diagnosed with a terminal illness, what wisdom would you want to leave with your kids?

Post your answers below, and please keep them brief. The best entries will win a signed copy of Dr. Pausch’s new book.

• A Professor's Farewell Sparks a Media Frenzy

• Books: Cancer Gets a Makeover

• Rounds: Cancer Treatment for Two, Smoking Bans and an Update on Dr. Pausch

• Words to Live By



My Top 10 Things I want my kids to know:

1.You get one chance to make a first impression.

2.Treat mistakes like opportunities to learn, everybody makes them, successful people just make more.

3.We don’t belong to that “Everybody” family who seems to have everything, so get over it, want is not the same as need.

4.Treat others the way you want to be treated.

5.Look in the mirror everyday and let the person staring back be the judge of your character and effort for that day.

6.Really, one day you’ll understand that giving feels a whole lot better than receiving.

7.There are always two sides to every story, and a huge hole where the facts seem to fall in-between so perception is everything.

8.Admit when you’re wrong; use your words to apologize and your actions to make it right.

9.Bad things happen to good people so try not to take things for granted.

10.Smile a lot, it prevents wrinkles.

“Leave this place better than you found it.” -My Dad’s all purpose advice. It applies to my time in the kitchen, at a campsite, and, I think our time on earth.

Smartness comes from books and teachings…Wisdom grows from open ears, open eyes, heart, mind, and soul…

From my parents, every time we left the house: “Be good, Be safe, Have fun.”

“The most important things to have in life are family, friends and good health. And when one is missing the others will get you through.”

There are volumes that could be said, but the thing that kept reverberating in my mind as I watched was, “This guy is a few months younger than me, and he’s dying.” By the end I was thinking, “Man, I have a lot left to do! Better not waste time.”

From TPP — Better not waste time is EXACTLY right, and I think, one of his main points. As I think Randy might say “You get it.'’

1. When in doubt, say nothing;
2. Remember: nobody likes a tattletale;
3. Just tell the truth — it may be painful at first, but the consequences of lying are much worse;
4. Do not chew gum in public;
5. When it comes to smoking: just don’t start because you will never truly quit;
6. In everything — marriage, work, school — always do the best you can. If you know you gave it your best effort, you will never look back with resentment, remorse or regret;
7. Black is beautiful; and be happy you’re nappy!
8. You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family — so try to get along;
9. You cannot and never will have or do it all; and
10. Life is NOT fair. Period.

If I were dying I would want my children to know that they are truly and deeply loved. And that I never truly knew, until they came along, how much love I had inside of me. And that love will never ever abandon them. [They should know that, even if you’re not dying!]

Make the best of it.

Think before you speak.

Eat your fruits and vegetables.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.

You CAN do it.

1. Ninety-nine percent of everything you ever learn will not come from school.

2. Everything in Moderation.

3. Don’t get married till you graduate from college.

Most of the time, everything will turn out OK in the end.

Always mind your P’s and Q’s (my mother’s way of saying mind your manners): Always say please and thank you.

Sorry #404. Your mom wasn’t telling you to mind your manners. She was telling you not to drink too much. “Mind you ps and qs” means mind your pints and quarts.

Look at people for who they are, not what they are.

My mom used to say, “Clean is like pregnant — there’s no halfway.”

1. just because you are a woman doesn’t mean you have to get married.
2. always be financially independent.
3. don’t ever take your clothes off for a man unless you’re sure that he respects you. (always with the implication that even if you’re sure, you’re still probably wrong!)

1. always listen to your grandma and do what she says!
2. (during my intractable adolescence): be nicer to your mother, you have no idea how much she deserves it.

From “Going on a Bear Hunt” that is apt for tough times:
Can’t go around it, can’t go over it, can’t go under it, just have to go through it. It applies to job interviews, childbirth, parent-teacher conferences and playdates that have lasted too long.

Do what you want, but do things for the right reasons.

“Don’t talk about it, just do it!”

Cast your net out WIDE, and see what you drag in.

No fighting, no biting.
No kicking, no licking.
No spitting, no hitting.

Live…and let live.

The greatest gift you can give your children is the ability to live without you.

You don’t have to be dying to know every day is a gift– it does focus your attention, though.

Do your best. The New Cook

When the door is closed, look for the window.

From a life filled with love and loss I learned from my two now deceased children - that the purpose of every moment of our lives is the gift of love. It sustains us through the harsh times, it enhances the wonderful times. Recognize the feelings of love - the love of each other, of a beautiful story, of a great conversation with a friend, of doing a good deed,a light and easy golf swing. Remember the love when the sadness of a day brings such unbearable pain that moving seems impossible. Take the time to “know the love”. Oh, and did I mention, remember to be able to laugh. These are the keys to survival on this oh so mysterious journey called life.


“DON’T CHEAT- even if no one is watching you!”


Enjoy the ride.

My husband and I have one simple rule: Treat others how you want to be treated.

I find myself telling our five-year old daughter: It’s always okay to ask why.

“Happiness is a choice”.

Try your best no matter what. You will never look back on the effort with regret.

Listening to kids so kids will talk is key to respectful parenting. I don’t know how it worked out that we have her– but we have a great kid who is self motivated in school, and of service through her church and volunteer activities in our community.

The example they set was better than any advice, and much longer lasting.

To my kids, “you are loved, valued, amazing and unstoppable — live your life knowing these things.”

Don’t have kids until you are grown up.

Read all of Adele Faber’s series on “Talking to Kids So Kids Will Listen…” and listen to kids starting when they are babies.

Make friends with your neighbors. You’ll need them to help raise your kid, especially if your folks are miles away. Ours have become our family.

You cannot tell your kid and your partner/wife you love her enough. Imagine a bank account that you keep making little deposits of love all the time. Only it isn’t money– it is worth more than $$. The truth is I make inadvertent and then sometimes nasty withdrawls from this bank. All the love sent before helps my karma.

Let your kids pick themselves up and sooth themselves when they are little. They’ll be much more resilient later when they have to do it by themselves anyway– and you aren’t around. Too many parents rush to pick their kid up if they take a tumble and start to cry. You solve one problem– your discomfort at seeing your kid cry and hurt but create another one– a kid that can’t comfort themselves.

I teach first and second graders. I try to instill humor and respect of one another along with math and reading. On the playground I tell them to follow the rules of not hurting anyone and that it’s okay to go up the slide even though the rules say you may only go down.

If I were diagnosed with a terminal illness, I would want my children to know that the love we share will continue; that we will always be together. My younger brother died when he was 25; it was a shocking and terrible loss. It was also a gift. I have come to know him through his children and grandchildren, and I feel his presence in our lives. I do not know the shape of the future, except that the circle that is family and loved ones is eternal.

The best advice my mother gave me was not advice at all. On the day before she died suddenly, she told me her greatest contributions to the world were my brother, sister and me.

This came from a woman who ran a nonprofit in southern Africa, taught for many years, and served on national committees dealing with poverty. And yet, she considered me her most important gift. It is with gratitude that I strive to live up to her vision of me–and to pass on the same view to my own son.

The one thing that my mother taught me in the months that she was sick is that I was loved, that I will always be loved, and that I have the capacity of an ocean to love because of this.

Life is as beautiful as you see it, make it, love it.

When faced with regret, say “You can’t go backwards. You can’t stand still. You just have to go forwards.” It’s advice that has helped me through life to focus on the future and avoid wasting time on things you can’t change.

Dr Pausch’s lecture was so moving. My kids are now allowed to draw on the walls…

Every time I left home my parents reminded me, “Take good care of yourself.” At the time, I thought they meant that I should drive safely, or wash my hands before I eat. Now I realize that it was more of an all-encompassing plea. Take good care of yourself, because you aren’t a baby anymore. Take good care of yourself, because when you go out into the world we can’t take care of you. Take good care of yourself because no one can do that as well as you can.

When, as a child, I worried if I would be a good parent to my children, my grandmother told me that when God sends a baby, he sends a book of instructions. In other words, I would know how to do the right things for my children when the time came. And she was righ.

1. Don’t add to people’s burdens, or take away from their happinesses.

2. Don’t do good things that appear to be bad (i.e. even if an action poses an ultimate good, if others perceive it as being bad, don’t do it).

3. [to be said when someone’s meal is served before yours]: My food won’t taste better just because their food gets colder.

4. Get enough sleep.

5. If you are not getting what you want, ask to speak to the manager.

Different things make different people happy. We all want to be happy. We all need friends and family to be happy.
I’ve learned that most things do not make one happy for long. So don’t waste too much time or energy striving for lots of money, power, sex or fame. If they come, enjoy them. But remember the real rewards come from accomplishing something you value and being valued and respected by those who are close to you. And the best accomplishments are those that help others and connect with others. Likewise, anger, revenge and hatred just poison your insides and hurt your own health. Every one has a little ego that is self-important and self-destructive. Don’t indulge it. You are not a victim. You have more power than you imagine.

Years ago, I was going through the hardest time I had ever faced in my life. I was a young college educated working mother, who traveled out of town a lot with her job. I had found out my father, who was young at the time (51) had serious heart disease (had 7 bypasses on his first open heart surgery) and my mother needed my support; My husband of 8 years (at the time) announced to me on our way home (with a 6 month old & 2 1/2 year old in the car) from the hospital seeing my father post heart surgery, that he wanted out/ divorce & he was leaving me & the two girls as soon as we reached the city (still two hours from home, all driving like a merry family) Well once the dust settled about 3 months latter, in the middle of normal nasty separations, I was pleading to work things out.

In order to clear my head & gain some perspective from the mess, I visited my Grandparents over a long weekend. Clearly I did not see things from the truth, nor from a man’s perspective. My grandfather saw how much I was hurting & only said this one thing, (he was also dying & lived only a few more months) “Honey, you are young, healthy, still very beautiful, and you have a great job with decent money. If he doesn’t want to stay & live with you NOW, what in the world makes you think he will be there for you when you are OLD, SICK, can’t work & need someone to help you wipe your own butt?” That is all that was ever said. From that point on, I knew that he was so dead right. There was no where else to go, but forward, with all the love, compassion & dignity I could embrace for our two daughters. During those 3 months of time, I lost the three men who had played the largest roles of my own existence. Life has mountains & valleys & that was my first valley. When ever a storm comes I see my Grandfather & his pure simple wisdom and LOVE.

* WORK *

Do something you feel passionate about and the money will follow.

Do what you love and the money will come.

Do what you love and love what you do.

When choosing a career, chose the one that requires you to do what you would want as a lifetime hobby.

My father said that no matter how great a job you get, there’ll always be somebody there who makes your life difficult if you let it–so don’t let it.

The best career advice I ever got was actually from my uncle, who gave the same advice to his own children. He was an immigrant who worked for the same U.S. company for years. One day he turned to me and said, “The United States is the land of opportunity. But not if you work for somebody else.” As someone who lived through several corporate layoffs before starting my own business, I can attest to the truth of this statement.

After complaining about bullies (in the late 1950’s), my Mom looked into my eyes and very wisely said “you’ve always been a coward Frankie”

‘Don’t force anything.’ The advice can be applied to more than a do-it-yourself project.

work hard
be a good person

My grandma responded to our childhood complaints with “That should be the worst thing that ever happens to you.”

My mom always said you can’t love anyone until you love yourself first.

Sometimes the only thing you can change for the better is your attitude.

Life is full of choices. It will be easy to know which choice is the right choice– it’s usually the opposite of what you want to do. Do it anyway.

Don’t waste a moment - there’s so much to see and do and discover in the world. even tragedy is a new experience. welcome each day as the beginning of the best day of your life.

1. Before you get angry, stop a moment and ask yourself if what the person (spouse, friend, sibling) just said/yelled at you is something you have said to yourself. If so? Do not react, remove yourself from the situation and reflect.

You cannot change anyone, but miracles happen when you change yourself.

2. Listen to your spouse. Shut up and listen, every day, for at least a half hour a day. Ask pertinent questions. Remember the answers. Keep notes if necessary. Your children depend on your relationship with your spouse. Make sure your marital relationship is solid and your kids will be fine. (For men: if your wife is looking miserable, ask her to tell you what’s wrong and keep asking until she spills her guts. WHATEVER it was, it will no longer make her miserable because she has talked about it with you. This is the magic key to making women happy. Flowers are always nice too ;’).)

3. Rest. Sundays are good if only because other people may be doing the same thing. But any day is fine. Rest is essential to everything else you care about. Without rest, the fragility of your life will be front and center; with rest, you have a savings account of energy from which to draw to help out others. Make it religious in the sense you ALWAYS take rest at least once a week.

4. Never, ever, ever, refuse a child’s request for physical contact. No matter what is going on. If they raise their arms to be hugged, hug them. If they ask for a kiss, kiss them. No matter if your best friend just died, no matter if you were just fired from your job. That is your primary solemn obligation to your children. Before you can imagine it, they will not want you to touch them (especially boys). Even then, at any moment when you can touch them, touch them. Especially teen-agers. They will be in trouble with you a lot–when you have any surcease from trouble–hug them, tell them they’re beautiful, smile at them. They are lonely. It is a miserable time of life and they are doing the best they can and are desperate for touch. They may shrug you off, do it anyway.

5. Fathers, talk about intellectual things with your daughters. Politics, philosophy, algebra. There is a direct correlation between the intelligence and mental strength of adult women and the time fathers spent talking to them. Who cares why, just do it.

6. Eat an apple every day.

7. Create happy memories. With your friends, your spouse, your children. It is a creative act that requires attention and energy. Plan picnics, walks in the park, anything at all that is a surcease from the grind of life.

8. Have kids do the dishes, and parents clean their rooms. They learn how to do chores, and peace reigns. (Also, either parent can supervise dishes.)

9. Never give your child a car.

10. Teach your kids how to bake bread. If you don’t know how, learn together. It costs pennies to make a loaf of bread. Bread dough can be used to make pizzas, again for a dollar or two. It can be the difference between starvation and survival in their future when there’s too much month to the end of the money. It is also soothing and fun. It is also a way to attract friends when they are older. No one can resist a loaf of freshly baked bread.

1. Keep plugging away. Works for your job, your marriage, even your garden.
2. Play to your strengths. Works for your job, your marriage, raising children and sports.
3. Learn to be happy with less.
4. Be flexible and hold strong at the right times.
5. Eat right, exercise & get enough sleep.
6. Be kind!!!

May we all have a Happy Healthy Long Life!

Breathe deeply when it is your turn at bat. Forgive yourself and others if you don’t make it home. Don’t let your ego get in the way of being part of a great team.

“You don’t hate anyone”, and “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”

The best advice my father ever gave me was: “Get over it.”

Seriously. That was it. He wasn’t being unsympathetic, but he never hesitates to point out when I’m all worked up about something which, honestly, isn’t worth it. I learned from him that you can choose to let every obstacle stress you out, or you can choose to let go of the little things (and it turns out, most things are little) and you’ll be a calmer, probably happier person for it.

Often, on the subject of money, I advise my 7-year old daughter, “if you don’t squander it on the things you don’t need, or won’t stay interested in, then you’ll have it for the things that are important.”

As a potent illustration, I point out that by following my own advice, I was able to save enough as a single to adopt her.

Not so directly, and over time as opportunities arise, I try to pass on the following:

Never assume that some people/children are “superior” or “inferior” to others based on how much money they have, how large their home is, which toys they have, what they look like (skin color, eye shape, height, etc), what job they or their parents do, what religion they practice, whether they are in football gear or wheelchairs, whether they are outgoing or shy. Look beyond the surfaces. Seek your friends among the kindest, fairest people you know, but recognize that some people may be less than the kindest when you meet them because they grew up or are growing up with hurts. Your values, ideals, and open-mindedness will be worth more to you than all the costly status symbols you could buy.

The best advice ever: “Just say yes.” This is from my husband, and he’s right. You miss out on a lot by saying No, by thinking you won’t like it, it’s not for me, etc. Of course, say No to drugs, but say Yes to life, to experiences, to other people, to new things…life is to short to miss it as it whizzes by. If you think you’ll like it, you probably will, and if you think you won’t, you just might.

Just say Yes! If you think you’ll like something, you probably will, and if you think you won’t, you just might. Go for it, try everything, experience all that life has to offer.

Just say No to drugs. But everything else…

“If it was easy, everyone would do it.”

Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Take your vitamins.


From my professor, Steve Parker, “Be careful what you say because some things you can’t take back.

If you find yourself talking about your relationship more than having it, maybe it’s time to get out.

What Priest told Joe and Lorita. 50-50, take out the garbage MWF, T,TH,S flip a coin for Sunday. Sometimes its 80-20.

“People say marriage is a 50/50 proposition” (in my head I’m thinking yeah, yeah, I’ve heard this all).Then he continued, “It’s not. It’s 100% / 100%”

I have four young children and sometimes morbidly worry that I will die on my way home from the grocery store without bestowing any great words of advice for them to live by. So I keep a written list of things I would want them to know if I was not there to tell them:

1)On choosing a spouse: If you have to ask yourself if he/she is the one, that means they are not.

2)On a happy marriage: In an argument you can be right or you can be happy, but very rarely are you both.

3)On having a good relationship with teachers or superiors: They are holding the handle of the knife, you hold the blade. Be very careful on how you pull.

4)On building character: After graduating high school, spend the summer in the most grueling, mind numbing job you can find. It will build character and make you appreciate the value of a higher education.

5)On making the right decisions: If you have to choice between two options and one option is harder than the other, choose the hardest one, because doing the right thing is always the hardest thing to do.

”Never go to bed angry,” I don’t know if she was talking about couples or just me as a child.

I once asked my mom how she knew she wanted to marry my dad. She said: “I thought about the rest of my life and realized I wanted him to be there with me.” My dad, without talking to my mom, gave me the same advice.

“When chosing a mate, pay attention to how he treats other women: his mother, his sisters, his grandmother, the waitress in the coffee shop. This is perhaps the best indicator of how you will be treated once the newness wears off.” ~~ Words of Wisdom from My Mom

“Dad, you and Mom always seem so happy, what’s the secret of a good marriage?” I remember his response to this day, over 30 years later — “Take everything with a grain of salt. Nothing is so important in a marriage that you can’t laugh about it.” I may not always be successful in following his advice, but I heard and remembered it, and it’s helped me to persevere in my marriage — at least in my second one!

Wait to get married.

“Live with someone before you marry him, that way you’ll know the true person.”

“Don’t get married until you have a college degree.”

My father told me right before I got married, “you can be right, or you can be happy”. And trust me, it’s the best advice I ever got.

At your wedding, no matter what happens, smile and be happy–because that is what you and everyone will remember.

“Don’t marry a man unless he’s as smart as your father.”

When you start going out with a guy, you will/should be getting the best treatment from him that you ever will in the relationship. If he’s inconsiderate now, disrespectful now, self-obsessed now, it won’t get better, and you shouldn’t expect that you can change him to make him more of what you want. You deserve the best. Wait and learn to value yourself.

when choosing a mate you have to ask yourself, “If the house was on fire and you were inside, would he run into the fire?” The guy I’m with now, yeah he would.

Treat others well, treat yourself well, and insist that those around you treat not only you, but those around you, well.

No one is so important that you must submit yourself to their mistreatment. You have value, and treating yourself as valuable is your birthright.

My mother always tells me to “Be Yourself!!”

And now as a grown child with my own children-”if you will not be your child’s advocate, who will?” Sometimes it is hard (for me anyway) to make a scene, start a conversation, resolve an issue. But, my mother has taught me that when it comes to my kids (and hers) there is nothing a mother shouldn’t do to get what they need for their children.

Do at least one thing every day that scares you.

Practice transparency, even if it’s impolite, and don’t settle for anything less from other people. Ask the obvious question, state the obvious at the heart of the matter, in a clear voice, in front of everyone.

God listens to your prayers under the chuppah: concentrate, and don’t waste them.

A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for. It’s helped me move forward many times.

Also: There are 3 important things in dealing with other people - the first is kindness, the second is kindness, and the third, of course, is kindness.

1. As I was getting ready to leave for college, my father said to me: “don’t waste your time trying to find yourself.”

2. The second from my grandmother: “It’s a good life if you don’t weaken.”

3. Finally, in a note stuffed in my lunch box in third grade from my mom: “Be good, remember your manners, and don’t let the silly boys bother you.” Excellent advice years later for the workplace!

Pay attention. Take it all in. Be present.

From my father on learning to drive: If you are running late, do not make up the time by driving faster. It is better to arrive late and alive.


Hold the urge to direct/advise is the best thing parents can do for their children. Just watch them grow & enjoy.

The best advice I received came from a friend shortly before my first child was born. She told me:

“You will always be an amateur parent with professional children.”

Often it is better to be kind than to be right. A statement I find myself saying a lot lately to my 8-year old daughter, especially when she feels compelled to constantly correct her 5 year old sister.

when my child comes to me after being rejected in some way or another, i commiserate but always try make them see the situation from another perspective: how significant is this person in your life? do you even respect or like this person? if not, then what he or she says means nothing and you can reject what they say or do.

1) When in doubt, don’t.
2) Is it a want or a need?
3) Minimize occasions of regret.
4) Concern and respect — it’s that simple — keep that in mind wherever you are.

Be good, And if you can’t be good, be careful. And if you can’t be careful and are in trouble, call me.

I love you no matter what.

Nothing you could ever do would make me love you less.

Follow your passion with humor.

Take care with your brothers and sisters. You will lose touch with friends, your parents will die, you may even divorce your spouse. The one constant in your life from cradle to grave are your brothers and sisters.

Each time we fought, my mother would tell my brother and me to shake hands and look at each other and say “Let’s be friends.” As silly as it sounds, it seems to have worked! We’ve always been close and now, (mostly) grown up and in two different cities, we still visit each other often and talk at least weekly. Family is important!

Children need a lot of love and a little discipline. But mostly love.

Don’t take it all so personally.

For those of us who find it hard to accept gifts, compliments, offers of help, my dad says… “Don’t deny people the pleasure of doing something nice for you. The person giving the favor probably gets more out of giving than you do receiving.”

Always let your children know you love them.

As a parent and person, I try to be compassionate and forthright. I remind myself that my husband and I are our children’s biggest role models.

Your parents are actually pretty cool people, no matter how many times you’re embarassed by them. They probably have been through the same stuff you are going through growing up, so make your own decisions, but understand that your parents have been there as well, so their wisdom might be a good thing to think about!

Whenever my brother or I complained that something wasn’t fair: Life isn’t fair, get used to it.

My grandmother said it every time my sisters and I fought– “Now children, love one another”.

The relationship you have with your sister (siblings) is the longest relationship you will have in your entire life. Don’t let grudges, pettiness or misunderstandings prevent this from happening.

Our relationship as siblings will outlast our relationship with her, when she one day passed away. This reminded us that no matter how we argued or bickered as children, our bond was lifelong and essential. Her putting it in that perspective for us was such a gift, as it reminds us daily to work through small issues and remain supportive, close, and loving with each other.

• Hug them/Tell them you love them

• Read to/with them.

• TRY HARD to listen to them.

• Get the hell out of their way.

Remember to take time each day to laugh with your kids.

The best advice on parenting I got was from a colleague when we adopted our first daughter. “You only have to spend fifteen minutes of quality time a day”, he said. “BUT… you don’t get to pick which fifteen minutes.”

In short, love your children unreservedly, make everything count, because it all has to. And it all should.

Love your children unconditionally, it will arm them against all challenges. When teaching them right from wrong, at any age, seperate their behavior from their whole person.
Do not judge others; teach your children this by example. Use every day situations to illustrate this lesson; ie: showing compassion or suggesting alternative motivations for people who appear to be different or who exhibit undesirable behavior.

Love is a multiplier. It gets easier to love the next person as you practice loving the person before you.

When feeding your children, remember, the parents are in charge of presentation and timing. The children are in charge of selection and quantity.

You can’t make your child poop or sleep. Don’t fight during potty training or nap time.

When your children leave the house, call after them, “Remember what I taught you.”. They’ll spend a lifetime figuring that out.

By the time they were old enough to understand stories with morals, I told my children stories about the ‘naughty’ things I did when I was their age. ‘True story time’ became the biggest treat I could give them! Luckily, I had lots of stories. (ALL TRUE!)

It began with my son tearfully insisting that he
had ‘found’ the toy hidden in his bookbag. I searched for a way that he could save face & understand that he was OK, but had just made a wrong choice. So I asked if he (& his younger sister) would like to hear a story about their ‘naughty’ mom when she was young?

I started ‘mylife of crime’ by pocketing the loose
change I found around the house, & undetected (&
feeling very smart & invulnerable) progressed
to visiting our local Woolworth’s. (Rember Woolworth’s??)

Alas, it all ended the usual way. I could hardly find words to describe the (unforgettable, even today!) feelings I had when I felt the Manager’s hand on my shoulder, & heard his harsh voice in my ear: “I KNOW WHAT YOU DID! Put it back & don’t EVER come here again!!

And bad as that was, I told them the REALLY Really awful WORSTEST of WORSTESTES was the liquid trickling down my leg & puddling on the floor!!!!

And that, sweet children, is why I would NEVER, EVER take even a cookie that didn’t belong to me.(well hardly ever)

Kids learn by example and the best advise any parent can recieve is to be a good role model. Always speak the truth, always mean the truth, and always abide by the truth.

I would tell my children that everything in birth and life matters. Most opportunities don’t come with second chances and how we come into the world is as important as how we leave it.

“Kids, I go in my vehicle to get coffee early Sunday morning, and if you go with me, ANYTHING we discuss STAYS there. I might give - ‘this is what I would probably do’ - and NEVER will I judge or take action on that sacred trust,even if you committed the most henius crime. Talk about it any other time, all rules are off. - No lectures, or reminders, just an ear to sort things out.”
I still get pats on the back from BOTH my children.

Our job as parents is to care for our children, to love them, to make sure they feel our love, to educate them, to keep them safe but it is not our job to make it easy for them. It is important that they struggle, make difficult decisions, work until they sweat, fail at something. Do not, I repeat do not make it easy.

1. Be kind.
2. Be kind, even when you don’t expect the same in response.
3. Be kind, ESPECIALLY when you don’t expect the same in response.
4. Have something “larger” than you to care about - whether it is faith, your family, humanity, some cause.
5. Be grateful. Gratitude is one of the steps on the road to happiness. Even if it’s just a little think you’re grateful for, be grateful.

“Don’t do dumb things.”

I suppose it could be taken as terribly trivial, but those four little words from my father have served me well. You know — somewhere deep in your gut — when something you are about to do is a really DUMB thing. Might be fun, make you temporarily feel better, release some anger, offer instant gratification… but if some part of you knows it’s a dumb thing, resist. You’ll thank yourself later.

* SEX *

Don’t be a dick. (Or jerk, if you prefer.)

To our then-teenaged daughter: “Remember, all boys want is to see you naked.”

The only thing my father ever told me about sex was, “If you play with fire, you’ll get burned.” And he was right.

Mama said: “Two Trojans. Just in case.”

Don’t get pregnant and don’t get somebody pregnant.

“Choose friends and lovers, Mates and others

Not for money, Money you earn;

Not for knowledge, Knowledge you learn;

Not for looks, We grow older by the season;

Favor disposition, THAT’s the best reason !”

- Lillian Broussard Bernard 1910-1993

“Ven deim putz schtait, gait deim zechel in tuchas.”
This is what my father told me way back when I was in high school, and “romantically over-involved.” It translates:
“When your prick stands up, your brains run to your ass.”
He amplified (the only time I knew him to be comedic):
“It is the only true constant in the universe, more absolute than the speed of light. In fact, when Moses came down from the mountain and held up the tablets of the law to the assembled Hebrews, he was actually showing them the back; on the front it says,’Ven deim putz schtait, gait deim zechel in tuchas.’ The other laws are are made necessary by that.”

I told my daughter when she was thinking about becoming sexually active that she should think carefully about making sure that her actions would not hurt anyone.

Remember that the price of a misspent youth will be your memories.

Thou shalt not take thyself so damn seriously.

When my son is feeling really down or upset about something that happened, I tell him that even though life seems to be horrible right now and sometimes it feels like the trouble will never go away, that’s when you have to remember that life has it’s beautiful points too. Sometimes they are just separated by the troubles. You just have to be willing to get out of bed every day and think to yourself, “I wonder how today will be better?” Repeat as necessary.

We are always loved, even if we don’t always feel it.

1. Never get into anything you can’t get out of.

2. A sense of humor can help you through life.

3. If you learn to write well, you can write your way into almost any career.

As soon as they were young enough to understand, I told my two children (boy and girl) to stay away from anyone who would kick a small dog. I repeated it often, and they got the message. They grew up to be kind and compassionate, to small dogs—and people.

During my daughter’s adolescent years, I waited for a transplant. I always shared with her that good things come to those who wait…patiently.

My father would listen patiently to complaints about my first jobs, my incapable bosses, and my incompetent peers and suggest: “Take it one day at a time.” With this simple sentence, he was reminding me how life is to be lived in those relationships, with people as they are, and not as we imagine they should be. The transformations of our heart are not so much accomplished through our anxious desires as in the patient working out of our hopes.

Live Honestly.
Love with your whole heart.
Laugh everyday.
When in doubt, DON”T!

• When you choose where to sit at an ice cream parlor pick the table with the fattest waitress. She will give you the largest scoop of ice cream.

• Don’t always believe what you read as most of it is hype.

• When someone tells you something, think about why they are telling you and know their motivations.

• Don’t be afraid to fail or succeed.

• Just because you are smarter does not mean you are better.

• With great power comes great responsibility.

• Help those who cannot take care of themselves, but do not take the easy way out by simply giving them money. By doing that you will leave them worse off when you are gone.

• Never trust anyone who claims to know everything.

• Be thanking for even the the most minor things like being able to pee without pain.

From my father; a professional bartender and an amateur philosopher: “Expect nothing: never be disappointed.”

“Time changes people, and people change their minds.”

In your life you could go to your extreme by bearing 100 kilogram of weight with pain and sweat. Or you could just bear 50 kiligram of weight and dance.

Whenever I came home upset because some kid had picked on me, my mother would explain that people who don’t feel good about themselves often deal with it by putting someone else down. That’s helped me cope with other people all of my life.

The best advice I ever received came not from my parents, but from my mother-in-law who reminds me “(life) is not a dress rehearsal”. I remember this everytime I feel afraid to try something new, or take a risk… or reach for that last tasty morsel from Pierre Herme!

“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it.”

If you are ever nervous, afraid or hesitant about anything, take a “brave breath” to calm yourself and to fill you full of confidence and strength. That advice steeled me through everything - exams, college, law school, and relationships - except her death 4 years ago. No amount of brave breaths can help ease the pain of the death of a parent.

Always trust yourself,
Don’t let people or situations cloud your better judgment.
Remember that whatever choice you make, it’s always the right one.
Even if it seems like the wrong one at the time, you will get a chance to learn from it.

Always take good care of yourself. Never go back.
Always go forward. When life seems too much, stop!
Scream! Yell! Go for a walk.
Tell yourself that you will get through this.
This like time will pass. It won’t always be like this.
Remember always: Nothing, last forever.

We all play a role in life and sometimes we win and, sometimes, we lose.
Just always remember that is you, you must trust.
It’s you, you must please.
Listen to yourself. Pray to your God.
Then listen to your God for the answers that he will bring you.
Take time to listen to nature, it will bring you closer to your God.

Remember if you dream it, it will come true.
Just give it a chance.
Always be there for yourself.
Always have kindness for yourself.

Remember to treat a loved one with kindness and you will never be alone.

Don’t wait for the confidence to do something. Do it without the confidence, and the confidence will come later.

My mother has eight children. Growing up, she always told us “it all comes out even in the great scoreboard in the sky”. I’ve always thought it was a great way of giving us kids a sense of karma. (It was also a good way for her to stop our complaining when we didn’t get to sit in the front seat.)

-First, respect yourself.

-Tell the truth whenever you can.

-Material things fade away.

-Love is the answer, Life is the Question.

Before I went to college, my father read me Polonius’ remarks to Hamlet(”neither a borrower nor a lender be”).

The song Rod Stewart sang called “Forever Young”.

“When leaving the house, have your hair combed and shoes shined, cut and clean fingernails and fresh breath”
“Be tolerant to others and with yourself”
“Have Faith”

Being a wimp at heart necessitated my learning the Davy-Crockett-grin-and-glare technique early on. When I’m over my head as a parent - with a 2 year old having a tantrum, with a 13 year old telling me I’m a has been, with a 17 year old telling me I’m a never was: I just paste on my Davy Crockett grin and glare, and at the very least it buys me some time.

“You never know who you’ll run into” (so look and act presentable when you go out).
Continue to live by the “Golden Rule” (treat others the way you want them to treat you). Remember your compassion and common sense, and you will bring honor to your lives as well as to the memory of mine.

You can be whatever you want to be in life if you:
1. Know what you want
2. Really want it
3. Believe you can do it

“Don’t wait for things to happen to you–make them happen.”

Respect the nap.

Be a mensch.

Wisdom is gained by learning to Listen.

This is my mom’s life motto, which has increasingly become mine as I’ve matured: if it’s meant to be, it will be! It doesn’t promote being lazy or takes away from my drive and commitment, but it gives me a sense of comfort to know that what is best for me will come to be, one way or the other.
The greatest thing my dad has taught me has been to love others deeply, but love yourself more… and to never eat in restaurants with waterfall-windows!

1.Body functions first. Without timely and sufficient eating, sleeping, peeing, pooping, excercise and recovery–everything else becomes more difficult and loaded with false urgencies. If you have to pee really badly and the phone is ringing (unless you work in emergency services) go pee first. If you have to solve a difficult problem your brain needs food.

2. With panic nothing is possible, without panic everything becomes possible. Learn slow deliberate process.

3. Spend at least 20 minutes every day quieting your thoughts, with meditation, prayer, or guided relaxation. Habitual thought processes are the enemy of joy, and these need to be regularly and consistantly examined to be attenuated and eliminated. These 20 minutes a day will make you at home in your own skin, improve your memory, your energy, and teach you that the beloved you seek is both within and everywhere without.

We allowed our children a great deal of freedom when juniors and seniors in high school. The reason-we wanted them to “fail small and under our watch” Vs. huge failures when we weren’t part of their daily lives. This has turned out to be a good plan for our children.

How about a piece of useful advice? The best I ever got, which applies to kids AND my spouse–


You can’t win them all and you certainly don’t want to live with someone who is losing all the battles. Decide what’s important–this will force those around you to do the same.

* AGE *

when I was young, I couldn’t wait to grow up. my father always told me that “it never gets easier, only harder”. for the longest time, i thought this was such a cruel thing to say–and a lie because certainly being a grown up was easier: more freedom, more control.
as i have gotten older, i have repeatedly thanked him for his warning. it seemed so vicious…but now, the obstacles of age don’t take me by surprise. i couldn’t be more grateful for that advice.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Do small things well.

Honesty will serve you well!

“Kind heart, kind words”

My father taught me to drive when I turned 16. Returning home one day, I made a left turn into the drive and kept going up onto the lawn. I got the car stopped too close to the side porch. My father calmly asked if I wanted to get the car off the front lawn or if he should. He let me make the choice.
So many lessons in that one incident. He let me make choice; He let me understand that I would sometimes have to get myself out of unpleasant situations; He let me know that he would support me; He also let me know that he loved me enough to make my own mistakes.

“Remember who you are and what you stand for” A reminder to have integrity wherever it is you may go in the world.

“You can learn to live with failure, but NEVER with regret.”

1. Never make fun of anyone, ever.
2. I love you, but you are not the center of the universe.
3. Always think about what you are going to do before you do it. If what you do hurts someone you cannot ever really take it back.
4. If you are cranky, you probably need a nap.
5. Drinking a can of regular soda pop is like drinking a liquid candy bar.
6. Do not let your bottom grow into the shape of your chair.

7. In all that you do, stive for quality, not quantity.

Attitude is everything. No one can take happiness from you. No one can “make” you feel bad.

For some reason we’re all well trained to take on other people’s problems, angst and issues.

I was taught to ask myself “who really owns this emotion?” and usually it wasn’t me! Empathy and understanding doesn’t equate to taking on others’ personal suffering.

Teaching my daughter to get out of the ‘trenches’ of drama and day-to-day problems and negativity has helped her be a positive, caring and intuitive teen who doesn’t mope around all the time as if the world is on her shoulders. Because it’s not, and she *gets* that. Being proactive and positive makes such a huge difference as far as quality of life, it’s an essential mindset that we must teach our children.

Maybe another way to put it would be in my father’s words “Suck it up, kiddo”.

Actions speak louder than words.

Don’t regret mistakes. There is always something to be learned from them and they can make you a better person.

- People are more important than things.
I grew up poor and never knew it, because my parents’ choices were based on family, not acquiring material possessions. There is nothing in the world more important than the people you love.

- You can have it all, just maybe not all at the same time.
Tolerance, balance, patience, delay of gratification, and acceptance of contentment.


Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame! The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, And you are stay’d for. There; my blessing with thee! And these few precepts in thy memory See thou character.

Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act.

Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade.

Beware Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man, And they in France of the best rank and station Are of a most select and generous chief in that.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

Do not be ashamed of any mistakes or bad decisions, all I ask is that you make a note of what you learned from it and keep going.

Always look in the mirror before you leave, first impressions are everything.

“Character is who you are when nobody’s looking.”

1) Always make sure your mouth is fully closed before biting down on a cherry tomato.

2) If you look into the rear view mirror and see more cars behind you than are in front of you, move to the right.

3) Whenever you travel, take some time to see some live music.

4) Don’t skip on the chance to take a bathroom break.

5) Make sure your keys are in your hand before closing the car door.

6) Don’t be rude to the waitstaff.

Always be honest and kind

My father had just a few years of formal education, having left school at age 10 to help support his family, but he was a very wise and enviably happy person. He had had so little in his life, and had so often known hunger and cold as a child, that he was deeply appreciative of the “simple things” he was able to have as an adult—a decent home to live in, enough food to eat and two healthy children.

He taught me not to be constantly wanting more, and never did I hear him express envy for the material things he was not able to afford on his modest blue-collar wages. No pining whatsoever for the Mercedes or the McMansion. He took great pleasure in the little bits of daily life that most of us take for granted and had a great deal of compassion for those who are truly in need.

Life is so much sweeter when you are able to appreciate the simple things. He died in 1997 and I really miss him! I wish he were here to help foster this attitude in my own two children, but I am doing my best (and seem to be succeeding) despite our culture of “conspicuous consumption”.

“Try to remember to forget
Anger, worry and regret
Live while you have life to live
And love while you have love to give.”

My favorite piece of advice from my mother is this, “You may not be able to control how you feel, but you can control how you act. Being angry or sad does not excuse bad behavior.” This piece of advice has kept me from saying and doing hurtful things while angry since I was a child.

After my Dad died, I said that “Everything I have accomplished, I owe to my Dad-he taught me never to depend on a man for anything.”

After my Mom died, I said “Everthing, I have accomplished, I owe to my Mom–she never said ‘you can’t do that’ and if something would take a long time (like law school) she said ‘and how old will you be in ___ years if you don’t do it?’”

I also like my husband’s family’s motto: “Work together, share the load.” It works at home, in your marriage, at your job and most other places.

Advice for every age: Be loyal to your friends.

No one can “make you happy.” You, and only you, are responsible for your happiness.

Work toward authenticity. Is the face you present to the world consistent with what’s inside? If not, why not? And what can you do about it?

Be mindful. Instead of fretting about what’s coming or what’s past, try to be completely present for what’s going on right here and how. (I have a *lot* of trouble with this one!)


My mother went through a very bad divorce and effectively a nervous breakdown. After about a year or so of mostly being left to my own devices while she processed through the fallout of two decades of marriage, I was sitting in my room reading one day when she came in and said, “I’ve decided something. No one can make you happy. You can’t make anyone happy. *You* have to make you happy and let other people take the responsibility for their own happiness.”

Were I advising children who’d grow up without me, in addition to my mother’s most excellent advice about happiness, I’d want them to know, “Love and forgiveness are two of the hardest things in the world to do to someone who has hurt you. Start by loving and forgiving yourself, and that’s the hardest part.

Also, just because something is hard, that doesn’t always mean it’s worth doing. However, the fact that something is hard doesn’t *ever* mean it’s not worth doing. Courage is who you are when you’re scared and still keep standing. You can’t be brave unless you’re a little bit afraid, because bravery without fear is just arrogance. In your relationships with others, love first and let the details work out as they will. It won’t keep you from being hurt, but it diminishes your chances for regret.”

When I was SO nervous on my first day of high-school my mother said “no one will be looking at you or thinking something about you, because they are so busy being worried about themselves”. Somehow that made perfect sense and calmed my fears and has done so many times in the years since then. Now I’ve shared that wisdom with my kids, who keep it in mind too and find it useful.

1. Always hold on to your sense of humor.

2. Don’t take yourself (or anyone else) too seriously.

3. Perspective is important; no, it’s not the end of the world. (Especially important for teenagers!)

4. Use common sense.

-Live simply, so that others may simply live.
-Pay attention to your intuition, it is stronger than you think.
-And my favorite…Love is something if you give it away; it’s just like a magic penny, spend it, lend it, you’ll have so many, they’ll roll all over the floor….

“You are the main character of your own book called Life. You hold the pen- you are the sole author. Write in its pages boldly, and be creative.”

It seems from reading the answers above that what makes good advice is what we read into it.

“As you walk and eat and travel, be wherever you are, otherwise you will miss most of your life.” Buddha

Advice mom always gave when we weren’t feeling well for any reason: “Go poop.”

Let go, let god.

don’t trust a liar.

I think that we just need to love our kids, but not only in our mind, we need to say, to touch and to show because some times we think that we love our kids and we don´t get the channel to comunicate with them so, don´t lose the channel because if you are here or not dosn´t matter if you keep that channel open, and that´s the way than we teach them to love the other and themselves

From my Savta (grandmother):
“All we ask is that you do your best. But no matter what happens, always remember that we’ll keep you anyhow.”

From mom: “I Love You, Suck it up.”

From watching Dad: Measure once, do it twice.

I always tell my children “The power of the universe lies inside of you”

“Acknowledge and move on.”

My mother told me I should aim to look back on my life with no regrets(or as little regrets as possible). Successes and faliures all come out in the wash, the important thing is to know you did everything you could have and worked hard.

She also told me a fantastic Shakespeare quote taken from A Winter’s Tale:
What’s gone, and what’s past help
Should be past grief.

And, “if you did what you always did, you’ll get what you always got”.

In no way complete, but not a mere bumper-sticker, either:

1. Always study and learn as much as you can — history, philosophy, science, math; how to get along with others, how others are motivated; anthropology — what makes people different, and how that affects you and your life and the lives of those you love. Understand your values and whether they can stand the test of time and myriad different challenges.

2. Always be hopeful. If there is a good God, remember, a good God would not want to see people suffer needlessly. Many people will be deluded by their interpretation of what God wants, and the delusions of such people will threaten many lives. Be hopeful that such delusions can be defeated through altruism, consistency and the quest for human fairness and goodwill.

3. Understand the yin and yang of economics, business and fair-play. You may never run a large company or grand organization, or then again, you may. Understand how things work, and do your best to play by the rules, to respect others in all dealings, and to expect the best from others as you would give your best to them. But don’t be surprised when others don’t deliver their best, don’t play by the rules, or don’t treat others with respect and goodwill. Keep your affairs in relatively good order, but not to such an extent that it costs you the ability to enjoy the gifts of life and good health.

4. Appreciate the beauty of nature and the large and small creations in the cosmos. Have a beautiful guest in your mind every day – a flower, a bee, a warm hearth; a softly strum chord or a grand concerto; a baby’s trusting eyes and round smile or the hug and comfort of a good friend. Beauty comes in many forms, from all of one’s senses including one’s intellect. Keep it well fed with healthy thoughts and experiences every day.

5. Finally, break through the protective cocoon of shyness and reluctance to meet and know others and being open to love in the right circumstances. It used to be said that love was free and free-love was a proper way of live. No, love is an investment, and one that needs to be nurtured and invested in carefully. It has many forms, and many degrees of loyalty. Develop a love to your friends, family and community. As you learn to be open to others, progress to love those to whom you can be committed and who will be committed to you. And understand the limits and limitlessness of a proper commitment to yourself and to those you love. Your emotional health and security depends on developing your ability to love others and in loving yourself and the gift of life that has been endowed to you.

Me: “When a baby cries because it is hungry or tired, you immediately give it what it needs. So when do you start saying, ‘No,’ to your child?”

My dad: “When your child starts saying, ‘No!’ to you.”

From my dad: Work hard, play hard.
From my mom: Appreciate beauty in everything.

“It’s gonna hurt ’til it heals.”

It’s ok to be wrong, and it’s ok to make mistakes, just make sure that you take responsibility for them. No one expects you to be perfect, they just expect you to be responsible for your actions.

Live, love, and learn and you are perfect the way you are.

You can’t control situations, so don’t drive yourself crazy trying to. Just be willing to take responsibility and action based on what happens.

Being cool starts when you truly stop caring about being cool.


When my then-teen would push limits and I’d in turn have to enforce them, I’d remind him that, just as his job was to be grow and become independent, mine was to be the mom and make sure he did so safely. And just as he had my respect for doing his job, I deserved his respect for doing mine!

Mediator training inadvertently provided one of my best parenting lessons, the one that kept the lines of communication open: that no matter how strong your personal opinions (”You did WHAT!?!?”), you can learn to listen impartially and to ask nonjudgmental questions (”So, how did that go?”).

Just remember if your not influencing, your being influenced. — helped me make great choices as a teenager

Your never be old enough, wise enough, rich enough, to get married or have children. So take your decision seriously. — I was too immature the first time to embrace this.

Read to them, and have them read to you. Share your lives and hug them often.

If you give children love, understanding and time, everything else will fall into place. —

Eat a variety of foods in moderation.
Brush, don’t scrub your teeth 2xday, and floss daily.
Get some exercise and fresh air every day.
Wear a helmet, eye protection, and hearing protection when recommended at work and play.
Buckle up.
Don’t smoke.
Enjoy a drink once in awhile.
Keep up with your vaccinations and recommended screenings.

Question authority.
Always ask to see the data.
Find a way to make a living doing something you enjoy.
Serve your community.
Save for your retirement.
Find a life partner who loves and appreciates you for who you are, and you they.
Appreciate every day.
Turn off the TV.
Mean what you say, and don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.
And stand up straight.
You could do worse.

My parents have shown me that it takes strength, resilience, and commitment to be happy. Happiness does not fall upon us-it is always earned. To remind me of this, when I’m in the depths of fear or anxiety or sadness, I hear my dad’s voice saying that “This, too, shall pass.” And then my mother chimes in, saying, “Today you cry, eat, sleep, and talk to your friends. Tomorrow you put on your favorite outfit and some mascara and go out and live the life you want.”

First impressions are most important
Better to be overdressed than underdressed
To thine own self be true
Nothing new under the sun, but you can see it anyway you choose…..
Keep loving, dancing, laughing
Movement is life, stagnation is death….

Be kind - for there is NO reason not to be kind and EVERY reason to be kind.

Iin the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

Love everyone. Love everything. Love the planet. Show your love by kissing your children, by trying your hardest, by not throwing your gum wrappers on the ground. Find yourself a righteous path and walk on it. Be creative. Be kind. You can’t say “I love you” too often or too many times. Be grateful for things. Not just big things, like escaping a cancer scare. Little things. Your morning coffee. Exercise. Eat right. Share what you know. Do what you can. Forgive everyone, even yourself.

If you do these things, and if you discover more on your own and do those things, too, the Universe will return your love to you a hundredfold.

1. Happiness is a result of the internal, not the external.

2. Your body is a temple: feed it the best and give it sufficient rest.

3. Follow your internal compass; if you can really open up to it, it will guide you away from danger and towards love.

4. Exercise. (mom)

5. Save 10% (or more) of your earnings every year, no matter what you make.

6. You must be the change you want to see in the world. (Ghandi)

7. The only person you’re always going to have is yourself, so love and respect her as you would a treasured friend.

8. Accept that not everyone in the world will like you and know that you can still be happy.

9. Write a thank you card for every gift or kind act you receive. (mom)

10. A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.

A bit of advice from my dearly departed father: “Everything always takes three times longer than you think.” This has turned out to be true in most cases for me if a medium-sized to big project.

Advice I give my college students that would surely apply to my children when/if I have them: “Interrogate everything. Never take anything at face value. All things are richer and more complicated than they would seem.”

Two pieces of advice I give to everyone: “It will all be okay.” “Never be ashamed of your history–you can’t change it.”

“Never give up your job for a man.” (yup, she was right)
“Don’t sleep your whole life away.”
“You don’t have to be a star, baby, to be in my show.”
“If it’s worth doing, then do it well.”
“You may have to give in, but you’re never allowed to give up.”
“Don’t trust anyone who curses or hits dogs.”
“If there were no grief to hollow out our hearts, where would there be room for joy?”

I approached my mother with a dilemma I was having in terms of a cross-road I had come across with my career, and the problems that may arise with my relatives for becoming involved in a relationship with someone who was of a different cultural background but whom I loved very much and loved me in return.

Her response was: “You have to remember that we come from a very conservative family and there are certain expectations required of you. At the same time, you cannot live your life based on how others dictate it should be lived. Only you have the right to mold your life. I love you. To see you become rich or succeed tremendously career wise is not the most important thing for me because those factors do not always equate to happiness and the one thing I want for you is to be truly happy in life. If this is truly what you want, and if what it takes for you to be closer to this happiness is to defy the norms of this family, then I support you.”

Do the best that you can in the place that you are and be kind.


It was 2 weeks before my 16th birthday and I was bummed because I knew there was no car in my immediate future. I was on a less than voluntary walk with my Dad.

Dad asks, “What would you do if I gave you $1000?”

I answer, “I’d buy a car.”

Dad asks, “What would you do if I gave you $10,000?”

After more thought, I answer again.

The numbers go up, and the answers become more and more grand.

Finally, dad says, “There is always more to want. You will have an answer no matter how high I go. At each step, if you try to appreciate what you have, you will be happier. If you only focus on what you don’t have, you will be miserable. YOUR choice and attitude are the biggest part of your happiness.

As a teen, of course I hated it when he was right, and I still wanted a car, but remembering this advice has helped me immeasurably over my lifetime.


“Save 10% or more of every paycheck for retirement. Put it in an index fund and then forget about it.”- Dad

“If you can’t pay for it today, you can’t afford it.” I now have a beautifully furnished debt free life.

Money can help control certain aspects of your life, but don’t let it control the core of who you are and who you become.

My father was a child throughout the Great Depression, and his family was poor, like everyone else. He told me several times (probably when I said that I “needed” a toy) that it is important to know the difference between “wants” and “needs” when making decisions about what actions to take, and how to spend resources. Being able to analyze situations in this way, I was able to return to graduate school, living on a shoestring budget (like no new clothes for two years). I was able to choose a career in social work, in which I knew that I would never earn enough money for even minor luxuries. When my daughter was born I was able to choose to stay home with her full-time, cutting our household income in half. I have been grateful that I have always had what I needed.

Toni Morrison said: “The greatest gift that a mother can give her child is to have her face light up whenever the child enters the room.”

The single best piece of advice I ever got (from an aunt) and one I’ve passed along to others is “If you fake an emotion long enough you start to feel it.” It’s helped people through rocky points in their marriages, through difficult job situations, through the adjustment periods in new parenting etc. Its corollary is “act as if” and you can change a situation (as if your relationship is happy, as if you feel competent, etc.)

Do good, happiness will follow. (Happiness is a by product of good deeds and responsible behavior).

Sometimes the universe talks to you. Listen.

Be polite.

Be with good people.

Love sparks dreams; it makes us smile, and that attracts good people.

Advice to my 4 daughters. Never have sex with anyone you wouldn’t want to talk to or deal with on a weekly basis for the next 18 years. (If you end up pregnant, that’s what you’ll be doing for all of the years that your child is growing up!!!) Has worked well so far.

My dad always said: “Do your best. No one can expect more.”

In answer to the excuse, “Daddy, I don’t have time”: “You only have time to do what you want to do.”

“Everything that you say and do affects the balance of your soul. Therefore, think before you do whatever it is you are about to do…”

Live…as though you’ve never lived before.

My dad required both my brother and I complete our MBAs (which we did), he ‘frequently’ reminded us of his rules to live by.

Make sure you always leave home with clean underwear.
No blood, no foul.
No good goes on after midnight.

I am not your entertainment committee.

There’s never a need to commit suicide; something or someone else will kill you soon enough.

It’s not what you give your child, but what you give that child’s sibling(s) that really counts.

-If you learn to laugh at your troubles, you’ll always have a reason to laugh.

One day my dad was sitting on the front porch and I was mulling a problem. So I popped up and asked him, “Dad, if you have freedom, why don’t you have the freedom to kill someone?”. My Dad, who was not expecting this, looked at me and said “With freedom comes responsibility”.

“Don’t be good, but don’t get in trouble.”

no matter what, be open to new ideas.

surround yourself with people who are willing to discuss, even argue, a different position; it will either open your eyes to a whole new way of thinking or it will solidify your views on life.

“Once you’re through learning, you’re through”

Know enough to get along on your own; make friends enough that you never have to.

Do what will make God Happy. That is Love.

My grandmother told us that before saying anything we should ask ourselves, “Is it true? is it kind? Is it necessary?”

- you reap what you sow, more than you sow, later than you sow.

- don’t rent.

- avoid credit cards.

- never stop asking questions.

- turn off the light when you leave a room.

- your siblings are your best friends, whether you like it or not.

My mother showed us by her actions and by her simple every day life.

1) Align thoughts, words and action.
2) Think positively
3) Best things in the world can be achieved by team work. With a lot of fun. But first I have to let go off my ego.
4) Mental, Physical and Emotional health are more important.
5) Be good. Be Very Good and try to be good even more.

My mom used to say, “Life isn’t fair.” Not exactly encouraging, but true. She also used to tell me, “there is always someone richer, thinner, smarter, younger.” Which I always understood to mean that you should accept yourself as you are and get on with it.

But my favorite thing she ever said, “The only thing in life you can control is your attitude.”

Don’t say, “I hate… (anything)” You can strongly dislike, but don’t hate.

My mother always said, “It’s better to be smart than pretty.” My dad always said we were both.

As my daughter told me when she was three, “Never hurry and never worry”

I would tell my young son to be as true to himself for the rest of his life as he is right now, at age 5. Don’t be ashamed to love the color pink, even when other kids tease. Dance with as much abandon and joy as you do at home in our living room. Make up words to songs and sing out! In other words, write your own story, don’t let anyone else write your story for you.

“Activity and sadness are incompatible.”

I think this was a quote my mother heard somewhere. It has served me well, over and over, throughout my life.

My mother suffered from MS without remission. Days were usually unpleasant. But whenever we complained, she quoted JFK (I think), “No one ever said life was fair.”

I’ve watered it down for my five year old, but the ability to not get mired in self-pity has been crucial to whatever successes I have had.

It’s not a question of finding some magic words. It is the harder task of *showing* your child how to treat people with respect, take responsibility, learn, and enjoy life. You can find some eloquent declarations of love from parents to children, but demonstrating love by paying attention makes more difference.

When my Mom first gave me her “best advice,” I was a teenager, and wasn’t ready to hear it. In fact, I thought it was one of those platitudes that mothers use. Her advice: “There has to be a solution.”

But years later, it became obvious to me that I HAD paid attention to her. From 1990, when my husband Tim was diagnosed with a huge, cancerous brain tumor, until the day he died, in 2005, “there has to be a solution” was to become one of my nearly constant mantras.

Tim was “supposed to” live, at most, only three or four or five years — depending upon which doctor you believed. But both of us had other ideas, and he ended up living fifteen years, post-diagnosis. Most of those years — including the last 3-and-a-half, when he was severely disabled — held a great deal of joy for both of us. We learned to take pleasure from every day we had together.

I attribute Tim’s extended life, and the enhanced quality of our life together, to two things: his own amazing attitude and love of life, and my Mom’s wonderful advice.

For the first few years after Tim was diagnosed, it was our belief in the doctors’ treatments that sustained us. But conventional medicine provided only so many answers. After the first five years, it was my Mom’s words that drove me to search for, and find, some highly effective, alternative treatments for Tim — treatments insurance rarely paid for; and to fight for every government program we were initially turned down for, so that I could keep Tim at home for his final 3-and-a-half years, when he was severely disabled. “There has to be a solution” always propelled me on.

I don’t have any children to pass this lesson on to, so after Tim died, I knew I had to help others, by educating them about the weaknesses in our healthcare system, and by helping them to find their own unique health solutions. I created my website, www.HonestMedicine.com , as my tribute to Tim, and as a way of sharing the lessons I learned from our journey together with others.

But the primary lesson I learned from my Mom –“There has to be a solution” — is one that I will always hold on to.

Sometimes, even people you’ve known for decades can surprise you. Always keep an open heart and an open mind so it’s not in vain.

I want our children (our son is 8 and our daughter is 4) to understand that while one can and should influence others, one can’t and shouldn’t try to control other people. So many problems are a result of people trying to impose their will and/or beliefs on others. Attempts at coercive control almost never turn out well for anyone.

I tell my kids what I tell myself:

It doesn’t matter how or where or when we end.What matters is that we are together on the way.

I’d tell them what I wish someone had told me. Your life is YOUR life. When I am gone, there will be good days and bad days just like there are now, and life will go on.

“Don’t waste your time trying to control other people’s actions or words, but focus rather on changing your reactions to them.”

Learn the words “Thank You”…
How to say it…
How to receive it…

The greatest thing my parents taught me is that feeling a certain way is almost always a choice. Certainly there are such things as gut reactions, but how one reacts to those feelings and moves forward is always a choice. The corollary is that one’s own feelings are ALWAYS valid. It is never appropriate to tell someone not to feel as they do, nor to tell them to feel a certain way (though behavior certainly a different matter).

This was part of teaching my siblings and me to love and respect ourselves, my parents, and everyone else in my life and to learn how to handle conflict. It’s great to first listen and validate how the other person feels and then go about trying to explain my own feelings.

Because of this teaching, whenever I do argue with my partner, for me it’s not just about who’s right vs. who’s wrong. I just want him to show me some empathy and understand how I feel even if he feels exactly the opposite. Of course not everyone was raised with the same rules so I do hit roadblocks with others on occasion, but I do feel like I’ve learned to be empathetic and patient in trying to understand where others are coming from and to choose how to deal with real conflict vs. being overly emotional. Believe I’m still a work in progress!

Always err on the side of generosity.

Be thoughtful, be kind and don’t take things for granted.
Appreciate the complexities of life and it’s ok to make mistakes…just do your best to not repeat them.

I was a teenager in full rebellion mode - not doing any HW or studying whatsoever for any class, playing basketball all the time, being constantly angry and intractable - my dad told me the following the summer I entered high school; I call it the “Sink or Swim Speech:”

“Some people don’t have to work hard because they live an easy life. Too bad you come from a family of hard workers. Hard work is required of everything, so get used to it. Not everyone has to go to college; it’s a privilege and if it isn’t for you, then I can get you a job as an apprentice mechanic. We [my mom and dad] will not nag you to do your homework anymore. If you fail, you fail. You’re either going to sink or swim, and it’s up to you. If you’re taking a class and you feel like you need extra help, we’ll find a way to get you a tutor but you will have to come to us and show us that you want it. You’re going to have to put in the effort to study your hardest before we pay for a tutor. Now you’re in charge, and you’re going to have to take responsibility. This is it, you’re in high school, sink or swim.”

And I swam. I was allowed to be in charge, so I stepped up and did what I needed to do. Very liberating and strengthening.

• Trust yourself.

• Trust your intuition.

• Everything in moderation, (from food, to work, to words, to play).

• Be useful: offer to do dishes, volunteer, protest injustice.

• It’s okay to say no, whether at work or at play.

• Make time for yourself.

• You are only young once, but immaturity can last forever.

• Live in the moment but try not to procrastinate.

• Be free in your mind, use your imagination, create.

• Don’t make assumptions, don’t judge books by their covers or people by their looks.

• In love, find someone who believes in you more than you believe in yourself, who makes you laugh, and who loves you exactly as you are.

• Patience is a virtue.

• Read for pleasure.

• Never shirk from responsibility. If you’re bored, it’s your own fault.

• Learn something new everyday.

My parents were not the sort who handed out maxims to live by. One of the few pieces of firm advice Dad ever gave me was, “Never volunteer.”

I have done the best work of my life by violating that advice.

Understand the difference between a solvable and unsolvable problem.

From my father, when I told him what I wanted to be when I grew up:
“If you study theoretical physics, you’ll get a theoretical job and make theoretical money.”

“Don’t second-guess your mistakes. You make decisions with the information you have at the time. Blaming yourself for not knowing something earlier is fruitless.”

“Unsolicited advice is usually unwelcome.”

To always follow his spark,
to smile often and laugh easily,
to stay willing to forgive and move forward,
and to be thankful every single day.

One foot in front of the other (when overwhelmed by opportunity.)

• Use things and love people, not the other way around.

• Never run from a policeman.

• Separate your laundry.

• If you lose something important, you haven’t been paying attention.

• Don’t drive impared or ride with someone drunk or stoned.

• No unprotected sex, not once, not ever–not until you are ready to have kids.

• Read. Life long readers usually don’t get Alzheimers.

• Keep a journal.

From my grandmother,to my mother and I, from her Hospice bed - “Quit smoking, and don’t fight - you only have each other.”

The best “advice” I got from my mother and father didn’t come in the form of verbal bromides; rather, they served as wonderful role models.

If I had to distill the lessons, it might go something like this:

1) Work hard, and believe in the work that you do; it was, after all, your best effort.

2) You will be criticized; some of it constructive, some of it not. Learn what you can from the constructive material, forget the rest.

3) Life is not always fair, but you must do your best to be fair to others. This means being honest, compassionate, and charitable.

4) Accept the bad with serenity, the good with gratitude. And never get arrogant as a result of success.

5) Be thrifty, and save. Wastefulness is a lack of respect for the resources that went into a good.

• Use words wisely; for better or worse, they cannot be unsaid.

• Let people know what you stand for, and what you won’t stand for. What’s right isn’t always popular, and what’s popular isn’t always right.

• Leave each day feeling that you’ve accomplished something; tomorrow is promised to no one.

• When you look at people, look with your heart, not with your eyes. Most people need your compassion, not your judgment.

• Speak wisely, act justly, but think firstly.

• Take joy in simple things; they help you to get through your hardest days.

• Leave the world a better place than you found it.

Enjoy yourself, and know that whatever you’re doing right now is exactly what you should be doing right now.

Mom: Will this matter 20 years from now? If not, it doesn’t matter now.

Dad: You can have anything you want, but not everything you want. Choose wisely. 2. Pay yourself first (save.)

1. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. They are thinking about themselves, not you.

2. Love powers the universe.

3. It’s not as much about what you do, as it is about what you do *next.*

4. Your power over yourself (thought, word, deed) is infinite. Your power over others — and theirs over you — is zilch.

5. Have fun.

Don’t waste time on fear.

Don’t waste time on grief.

Don’t waste time on regret.

Don’t waste time.

Love. Find something bigger than you to believe in with all your heart. Give.

Don’t put too much weight on “happiness”. Instead, seek to be content with what you have and to enrich the world with what you do.

One thing I have learned over a lifetime of joy and pain is to love, but love unconditionally - I mean really think it through and throw out every condition and then let the person, whomever they might be, that you love them without conditions. Your children do not need to be successful, marry well, go to college, eat the right foods, chose the right job or anything else for you to continue to love them. Try that with your spouse - no matter how they chew or snore, or how much money they make or how fat they get - you love them completely. Try it with all those you say you love and then work to make unconditional real.

My father once told me that I should not spend my life like someone on the outside looking in. He meant that I should experience life instead of being a spectator.

Don’t let what others think or do rule your actions and your decisions–what matters is what you think of yourself.

Oh, and drink your milk.

First, before you even have kids, you need to perfect what my siblings and I refer to as your “MOM” look. You also need to work on your “heavy sigh” — both are fantastic non-verbal “behavior modulators” that your children will carry with them into adulthood.

Second, I could not agree more with #21. As a society, we’ve “known” for years that boys need strong male role models — why should young women be any different? One of my fondest memories as a teen is sitting on the swing in the backyard, talking to my dad about any- and everything: my favorite TV show/actor, stories in the news, history, boys, you name it. (Another thing I’ve carried with me into adulthood…)

Third: Don’t be naive. Your kids are NOT as “young” as you think they are. They’re probably a lot older than you were at their age (ah, progress…). Talk TO them — not AT them! — about scary things like drinking and smoking and sex and rock-&-roll. Know that they’re curious about things you don’t think they have any business knowing about, and that your involvement is the difference between a responsible adult and Britney Spears. Start talking WAY before you think you need to, and keep talking even after you think they’ve heard you — they’ll need to know you’re there, especially when they get into high school and college, with all the inherent social pressures.

And, if it makes you feel any better, I woke up one day somewhere around my 21st birthday, and realized my parents weren’t QUITE as dumb as I thought they were at 14. (And they keep getting smarter — they’re less stupid at 25 than they were at 21!)

My parents grew up during the Depression. So, my biggest lessons about life came from watching what they did, not what they said.

1) Never buy anything you can’t afford to pay for in cash.
2) Save for a rainy day.
3) Don’t buy something just to impress others.
4) Live below your means.
5) Buy items on sale; use coupons; and buy in bulk.

I got my first credit card at the age of 63 and was surprised to discover that good credit got me cheaper rates for things like car insurance. But, in the meantime, I had managed to save and invest enough for a secure retirement. I am always amazed to read that some people lucky enough to have six figure incomes don’t have enough discipline to save for their own retirement.

My mom used to say to us kids growing up and I have quoted it to my own kids, (I am sorry, I don’t know who the Author is) “There is a destiny that makes us brothers, none go his away alone. For what you put into the lives of others, comes back into your own”. And to my mom who is suffering from the late stagies of dementia I would like to say,”what did you ever do to someone to deserve what has happened to you? I miss you.”

When we were about to have our first child I asked my older sister for advice. She said, “When they’re hungry feed them. When they’re wet and messy, change them. Other than that, love them every minute.”

To that I would add the following:

Especially when they’re little, but their whole life long: demonstrate your love to each child. A hug, an encouraging word, a note in their backpack. FIND ways to show that they are a part of your life. Look for ways to share your life with them and them to share their life with you. You’ll find that with their help, jobs don’t take that much longer — and it’s worth it.

Spend time, both quantity and quality time, with each individual child. I call it “mess with me.” This is so affirming and builds self esteem. From infancy to adult, this is such a joy for both parent and child. What matters is that you’re acknowledging the child and that they feel you know them.

Share your feelings with them, and carefully take time to listen to their feelings. Spend time “just talking” together. No praise or criticism; just spending time relating. When they’re happy, share the joy. When they’re sad, suffer with them and relieve their burden. Another way to acknowledge the reality of the child; and have them see you as real.

Allow yourself to be a child with your child.

My mother, whenever I am feeling stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed, reminds me that, no matter how upset I am, “this too shall pass.” There is always a brighter day ahead.

Life is short and beautiful.
Work hard in your job.
Love your friends and family deeply.
Improve yourself at every turn.
Never look back.
When your times come, jump into the abyss with wild abandon, knowing you did everything you should have.

without love and kindness, no happiness can follow. also known as the golden rule . . .

“You can’t change other people, you can only change how you react to them.”

And, “Love and hate are equally passionate.”

And finally, “Do what you love and be happy. Life is too short to be spent doing things you don’t enjoy.”

Focus on the positive… in yourself, in others, in each situation.

Embrace failure.
Learn from it.

The best advice I ever received was from my mother in law, who told me, when my kids were little: “Always remember that, even when your kids misbehave, they’re still good. They misbehave because they’re developing and aren’t yet as wise as you are. Your job is to help them understand what is good inside of them and how best to develop and express it.”

It is not what happens to you that matters, but rather how you react to what happens to you that shows your true character.

My mother who is now 85 has a favorite saying whenever I might complain something is rough, “God might tighten your collar, but He will never choke you.”

Always take pride in who you are and others will respect you as well.

You can pick your friends, pick your job, pick your husband, but not your family. You must accept them for who they are, and love them unconditionally.

Live with integrity. Your life will be much harder, but you will feel much better.


Before confronting a friend/spouse about a problem say this,
“I am 100% responsible for what I feel, think, say, do and perceive.”
Have the other person repeat this.

“In spite of illness, in spite of even the arch-enemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual state of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things and happy in small ways.” (from A Backward Glance, by Edith Wharton)

I copied this passage onto a three by five card years ago. I am now 64 and find it more relevant with each passing year.

The best advice I’ve ever gotten was from an old man who I’d struck up a conversation with the weekend before I left for college.
He said, “Live the life that makes YOU happy. What other people think; it doesn’t matter. Let them look down their noses at you. If you love yourself and live the life you want to live, that’s the mark of success.”

Be kind and respect others. Exercise and watch your diet. Keep a sense of play and curiosity. Save for the rainy day. Follow your dreams if you can, but alway honor your commitments. Find work that stimulates and (hopefully) pays well. Inspire.

My mother and father had 12 children and they were totally devoted to us. I had a wonderful carefree youth and felt unprepared when my first child was born with multiple serious health problems. I was initally in a state of shock and felt unfairly selected to have to witness the suffering and pain of my precious baby. My mother wisely told me that real life was full of unexpected challenges and that everyone gets some problem or another along the path. She said that the true measure of a person is what they do about it. This advice profoundly affected how I face life challenges. Suffering is part of the human condition, but love, kindness and humor help us to grow through it.

When you transgress or fail: Accept responsibility, reflect on it, learn from it and where possible, figure out how you can make amends for the situation. It’s what you do after you transgress or fail that determines how useful it is to your personal growth.

Life is not a race, nor is it a test of endurance; it’s a short sweet adventure. Keep your eyes, mind, and heart open, so you can appreciate life, even when it is more interesting, than it is attractive.

I have been comforted many times by the advice given Vasilissa the Beautiful by her little doll, “Don’t weep, little one. Grief is worst at night. Lie down, shut thine eyes, comfort thyself and go to sleep. The morning is wiser than the evening.”
This is the Russian tale with house on little chicken legs and Baba Yaga the witch; who is the best witch ever. This quote comes from Russian Wonder Tales by Post Wheeler with Bilibin Illustrations In Color. If you are really brave you can read these stories to your children.

Even a broken clock gets the time right twice a day, so my parents really did have some valuable things to pass on. A few here:
1) Even if he is “just a friend” don’t let two male friends meet each other—Dad.
2) People who are mean to animals will be cruel to you.
3) When baking with Mom: mistakes are a learning experience.
4) From Mom on why the people I knew as teenagers at church continued to go as young adults: Just because I don’t go anymore, for themeselves maybe they have good reason to. Meaning they might not be as programmed as I’d like to believe they are.
5)Mom grew up in a home where Church was a career for her Dad. Still, as a devout Catholic she was open to my questioning the teaching of the Church and engaging in intelligent discussions of commonly taboo speculations. Like perhaps Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. And this was loooong before “The DaVinci Code.”
6) Again from Mom: Don’t EVER marry a man without first knowing what he’s like in bed.
7)From Dad when I wanted to “steal” (hide to teach her to be careful) a friend’s beautiful new bike to teach her not to leave it unlocked in the front yard: That would still be stealing and only prove to your friend that you would steal from her. It would not prove that there are actual theives. THe essential rule is if I think I’m teaching a lesson through violence or agression, I’m not. I’m only making myself an agressive or violent person.
8)From Mom: Boys don’t have the feelings you’d like them to have.
8) Don’t limp.
9)From Auntie, a lawyer: It’s not so important to have the answer in your head. Nobody has room in thier brain for all that junk. It’s more important to know how to FIND the answer.

LESSONS FROM THEIR MISTAKES or, some advice to Parents from the kids:
1)DOn’t have kids. Or don’t have them if you expect them to make you happy. That’s not a baby’s job.
1.5) Don’t bother to have a single kind word for your kid. Go ahead and blame her for everything that is wrong with your life. She’ll find comfort from another adult.
2)DOn’t write your will assuming that your children will grow out of their very serious problems. These are probably cognitive disabilities you don’t want to own up to.
2.5) Don’t write your will with the idea that this will prompt your children to get along with eachother. Their lawyers might get along with eachother, on the other hand.
3)WHen you write your will,( and write your will) don’t ever leave a piece of real estate to more than one Kid to “share and share alike.” At least one kid will be the hog and at least one kid will be cheated out of an inheritance. And you will not be remembered fondly. But don’t worry. They can always have their lawyers settle things for them.
4)When choosing a guardian for a minor child in the event such is needed, do listen to the child’s objections, take them seriously no matter how much you are fond of said guardian candidate, and don’t let your judgement be clouded by such things as sentiment, sisterly loyalty, or anything else. Otherwise there will be yet another runaway teen for society to deal with.
5)Do your retirement and estate planning now while you are still healthy. Be very specific about what you leave each child, name Powers of Attorney, Advance directives, long-term care insurance if it’s available. Finding yourself old and in a nursing home as a complete court-appointed stranger sells your house and disposes of your belongings is an astoundingly truamatic experience that you will not need during your convalesence.
6)Please face unpleasant realities now. It will help to avoid catastrophic ones in the future. And
7)Don’t assume your children will take care of you in your old age. There are NO guarantees in life.
8) Don’t make excuses for a family member’s bad behavior, and don’t enable it.
9) If you marry a man because he is easy to push around, don’t be angry when you are the main breadwinner.
10) Don’t go for a career because a family member insists it will be a good living. You will be miserable and probably be bad at it or drop out. My father,instead of taking the science and photography courses he would have enjoyed immensly and had a chance of a career at, went to law school, dropped out, felt like a failure, and never earned enough to raise his family in the manner he and my mother had been accustomed to when they were growing up. All because his grandmother wouldn’t let him take the science courses he would have enjoyed, claiming they would be too hard for him. And Daddy went to an Ivy League college.

First, maintain your curiosity alive…

Second, never stop asking: Why? and Why Not?

Third, listen more than talk…

And finally, make sure that what you think, what you say, and what you do, all point in the same direction.

The only “advice” I ever got from my Dad was given when I left for the Marines. He said, “Don’t gamble.” I took it to mean, don’t get into anything that is potentionally addictive. It has served me well!

My advice is Be and become aware, every, every moment! as Emily exhorts us to do in “Our Town.”

“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” (Voltaire)

Divorces are never kind, and my family chewed over a particularly bitter one for ten years. But despite that fact, my estranged parents taught me a stranger, and very valuable lesson: ask. At worst, you wind up just where you started.

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

I once asked my grandmother how she knew that my grandfather (to whom she was happily married over 50 years) was “the one.”

“because he was good, and wise, and kind.”

The best way to love life is to love many things.

Don’t give an answer when some adult asks you “what you want to be when you grow up?”. There’s no way to know this as a kid since you haven’t even begun to contemplate all the things you could do yet. Resist pigeonholing yourself.

My favorite saying: “If I’m not laughing, then I’d be crying.”

Best advice from my mom: “Never let anyone make you do something you’re not ready for.”

If you only do those things that you can do well from the start, you will never be better than you are right now.

Successes are fun. But we learn little from them. We learn most from making and correcting

You grow most when you take on the hard stuff. If you stick with what is easy, you trick yourself into thinking that “easy” is a good goal.

Persevere in the face of Frustration. Either it wins, or You do. Which one wins, You, or it, Is up to you.

The bigger the tasks you set for yourself, the bigger the opportunities you will have in life.

You can accomplish anything as long as you allow yourself to dream big, work hard, follow through, learn from every hardship, accept help and criticism, and have confidence in yourself
while remembering that there is always more to learn.

Work and success are important, but relationships are more so. Honesty, friendliness, love, compassion, faith, and generosity must be learned and applied.

Without good friends and close family ties, no manner of success will be sweet. With good friends and family at your side, you can tolerate nearly any trouble in life.

Life isn’t fair. But it is fascinating. Don’t complain. Enjoy the journey. And keep learning.

My advice to our 4 children (aged 4 to 9):

1. Mind your Mommy
2. Eat your vegetables
3. Finish your homework

At least at their ages, this covers mind (homework), body (vegetables) and soul (mommy…she brought you into this world).

I know it’ll get tougher as they get older, so I particularly liked the 2 earlier posts on giving them a bunch of freedom as juniors and seniors in HS so they can fail small (and know you’re there to help), and to engage with my daughter intellectually.

1. Turn off the TV and the computer and get outside and blow the stink off yourself.
2. Write that thank-you note right now. I mean it.
3. Responsibility isn’t given; it’s taken.
4. Study at least one foreign language.
5. The world is a lot bigger than whatever it is you’re complaining about.
6. You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat people who aren’t of much use to them.
7. There is no limit or cap on good fortune in the world. So learn to be genuinely happy when good things happen for other people (whether you think they deserve it or not) and good fortune may happen for you (whether other people think you deserve it or not.)
8. Do not sell any of your old rock concert t-shirts on ebay until you are over 40. You’ll thank me later.
9. If you’re bored you’re probably boring.
10. Call your mother.

I’m a college student and the best advice anyone ever gave me was an anonymous post-it note I found after a horribly stressful day in high school. It read “Don’t follow the path that someone else makes for you.” I now have the post-it taped to my mirror so I see it every morning on my way to classes.

My father always told me “don’t trust anyone” and that created the wonderfully, cynical me.

When in doubt, don’t. Those four words kept me out of a lot of trouble when I was a teenager.

As a child who worried about things like, what if I don’t know where the bathroom is at the beginning of the school year? Or what if I don’t have a friend at camp? My Dad would advise me “that we’ll cross that bridge when we reach it”. I find myself handing out this advice to my worrisome seven year old. Its really not worth our energy if we haven’t reached the bridge. I still try to follow this advice when I find myself consumed with one of my “what if?” worries.

Advice I regularly give to my students: “Go out and prove that Chivalry is not dead.” I do not aim, with this exhortation, to have them imitate long dead warriors and kings, but to have them carry with them and to nourish, like a living flame, an attitude about the best possible relationship between oneself and other people.

Listen to your heart, believe in yourself, hold on to love (your spouse/partner, family and friends), do the right thing so you will be remembered as a good human being, work hard and enjoy the glory that is life.

“But the greatest of these is love.” Love is a choice you make everyday not just a feeling. — Got me through much more serious problems in my second marriage than what dissolved the first. I am very happily married despite both our problems.

1. You can’t control most of the things that will happen to you, nor can you stop them. People will leave, or die, or change. You can’t change other people, or control what they say or how they treat you. The only thing you can control is how you react to the events of your life. You can choose to react in a positive way, in a happy way, in a non-judgmental way, or in a compassionate way.

2. Be generous — with your time, with your money, with your love, with your compassion. You will never regret that extra hour you spent with a friend in need, or the extra $5 you tipped a struggling waiter. Give others the benefit of the doubt, even if it’s to the nasty bank teller who mistreats you after you’ve waited an hour in line. Your generosity, however big or small, is the legacy you leave behind.

3. “Love” is a verb. Do it. Take action.

Get on with it.

I would pass on my Grandfather’s wisdom which he had up until he died at 97:
*meet each day with an open mind and heart.
*stay curious and you will gain new knowledge every day.
*if you don’t know, if you need help, ask!
*be playful, smile, laugh.
*take regular nature walks.
*take care of yourself.
*respect yourself and others.

“Go with the flow.”

The best advice my mother gave me came when I was entering high school. Her father gave it to her.
She said “Be sure that you will be able to look yourself in the mirror the next morning.”
This mantra grew with me. In high school it was about being confident in everything I did and not wasting a moment; in college it was about being responsible and I dare say this was the period of life the mantra was meant for; in adulthood it is about being daring and not taking the easy way out.

From my mother: “Never forget what side your bread is buttered on.”

From my father: ” be wary of what you think you’re looking for - you’ll definitely find it.”

From my pastor: ” Sin will take you farther than you want to go and keep you longer than you want to stay.”

from my wife: ”Your best directions in life, buddy:’go right, stay straight’–I’m right!”

When I was a kid going out to play, I’d shout, “I’m going outside!”

My Dad would often shout back, “Write if you get work!”

Dad thought that just about everything we faced was a great opportunity (as long as it didn’t cost too much money). He wanted us to see the world,

His wisdom: be brave, home will always be here.

To my son:“Hot” is temporary, stupid is forever.

To my daughter: Nobody “makes you” do anything. You will always have a choice.
People will treat you the way YOU LET THEM treat you.

‘Your soul isn’t a trash can’ - my mom’s saying when we watch(ed) trashy or violent tv, read gossip magazines or spoke badly of others. I would teach my children the same - we become what we bombard ourselves with, be it un-inspirational people, soul-killing jobs or really bad music. Feed your soul with inspiration, creativity and beauty.

My mother died suddenly when I was a teenager. The best advice she gave me was not really advice, but showed (and told) me that I was loved unconditionally everyday. Her unwavering support, understanding, and affection is something I always reflect back on when life feels unmanageable.

There is nothing noble about “toughing it out” alone when you are miserable or desperate. If you need help, ask for help. And always have some people in your life that you trust.

On a poster on my high school classroom wall: “Let the choices you make today be choices you can live with tomorrow.”


From my mother, as told to her by my grandfather: “Religion is geographical, but spirituality is universal. Accept everyone’s beliefs.”

And my favorite quotation: “It is impossible to laugh and worry at once.”

This can be applied to family relationships, work, marriage, or even how you interact with the guy bagging your groceries. Aim to:

Be respectful
Be reasonable
Be reliable

If you try for those “three R’s” in virtually any part of life, it’s hard to go too far wrong.

The things i learned from my father:

From the very young age he instilled in us the importance of good education but he never built any pressure on us for that. I remember after our every major exam he will say ” Look honey if u did ur best, then u dont have to worry about the result, what u will get will be ur destiny but importnat thing is always to give ur best” That alwaz kept us motivated to give our best and never loose hope with any failures.

And also, when i was being an ass about some of his advice, he will always say ” I have done enough in my life to live on my own, and i dont want anything from you. What you do will be just for yourself ”
Well it aint very motivating but it alwaz made me realise that basically things parents ask of us are not favours for them but for our own good.

A few months after my mother died, I was staring out the window, tears in my eyes with sadness about a lot of things, including the impending sale of our house. She could have said a lot of things to a six year old. Instead she said simply: Remember, home is where you make it.”

I’ve traveled extensively, taken jobs that required me to work far from family and friends and now instill in my terrific children (ages 9 & 11) the commitment to rely on oneself and the courage to explore our fabulous world.

In trying to teach our two kids that they should ALWAYS do the job right (whatever the job is), we ask them to consider this: if you “don’t have time” to do the job right the first time, how are you going to have time to do it over again (which you will almost certainly have to do)?

You are the one in control of how you perceive the world and how you react.

The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.” Atisha.

Be careful what you do in an effort to exert your freedom as a teenager. Many teens discover the hard way that drug and alcohol addition as well as early pregnancy robbed them of the very freedom they were seeking.

1. this is the world, this is the way it is, accept what you cannot change and appreciate it in detail when you can’t see the point of it all.
2. you are who you are today, not who you wish you were or plan to be tomorrow. and this is enough for today.
3. if you kick sand in somebody’s face, apologize, and then forgive yourself.
4. sometimes you need to apologize again, and mean it. and then forgive yourself again.
5. always go outside when the sun is out.
6. don’t trade your lunch food just because somebody else’s looks better–there’s a reason for that apple in your lunchbox!
7. it’s good to be different, and it’s good to let other people be different.
8. you can’t control very much of what happens in the world, but you can control how much of it you appreciate.

my dad’s advice on finishing my dissertation: the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

my mom’s advice, never spoken but always acted on: be kind and generous to people, and if they aren’t kind and generous with you, let it go and walk away. don’t fight with the crazy people.

I was raised in an isolated religious fundamentalist community, and I would summarize my parent’s advice to me as:
• Cover your knees
• Shut your mouth
• Fear god
• Marry young

I left the community at 16 and was consequentially ostracized by my family. I struggled in the secular world trying to reconcile the advice I had received with my sudden exposure to sex, drugs, feminism and the self-determined life.

When I was 17 I came across Marlo Thomas’s children’s tape “Free to Be You and Me”. I was captivated by its simple inspired messages in the songs “Don’t Dress Your Cat in an Apron” “It’s all Right to Cry” and “Boy Meets Girl”. They became my pretend childhood, the advice I wished I would have received from my parents.

The messages of freedom, fairness and ambition have served me in good staid as I developed an independent identity, built a career, attended an ivy league graduate school and recently married the love of my life.

“Don’t rain on someone else’s parade!”

To my son, who struggled with bipolar and finding a career-

“If all the doors of opportunity are closed, keep looking for a window to crawl out of.”

There’s always another way of reaching your goals. It may not be how others go about it, but there’s almost always a window.

To my daughter, working on completing her engineering degree despite lupus

“If you find yourself wading in mud, keep moving, don’t stop or you will sink.”

Sometimes the world seems like nothing but work and illness but don’t wallow in it. Keep going, keep trying and you’ll find yourself on green grass once again.

Best advice from my grandmother- “Manners and the library are both free. Use them both.”

You can learn something from anyone even if that something is what you don’t want to become.

Two maxims I offered our kids, the first from the ancient Greeks (and popularized by JFK, or by his speechwriter Ted Sorenson), the second from my thirtysomething years
1. Happiness is the pursuit of excellence.
2. Remember if you’re in a line of work that isn’t ‘you,’ you can change, you don’t have to be stuck.

“Don’t forget your parents”

You’re more free with a fence than you are when you’re allowed to run into the busy road.

Fear encloses us much more than anything else.

My advice to my three boys as they matured? Always respect others. You don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to respect them and respect authority; and if you don’t like someone, take time to get to know them better. You might change your mind, or you might have a better reason to not have them as a friend.

You don’t need a girlfriend in high school, concentrate on friends, and . . . if you are going to get into trouble, be certain you have stayed out of trouble up to that point!)

1. Use your brain, think for yourself.

2. When you err, the most important thing is taking responsibility and working out how to make things right. (All excuses are lame.)

3. Keep your sense of humor.

4. Leave the world a better place than the way you found it. Harm none.

5. Put on your big girl panties and Suck It Up.

1. You must always have hope.

2. Build your life around the things you are good at and enjoy doing.

My parents received a call from a mother who had hosted a 7th grade girls’ slumber party informing them that a group of us got caught by the neighborhood security for “egging” the home of a boy who was in our class.

I protested that although I went along on the 2AM excursion, I did not carry eggs, throw eggs or have any other involvement in the caper and thought my punishment should reflect my passive presence.

My father felt otherwise. He looked me straight in the eyes and said: “Consider this a life-lesson. If you’re with the Egg-ers…You, my friend, are in the Egg Business.”

From my father, first for sports and then for life: Keep you eye on the ball and don’t panic.

My mom, who is fighting ovarian cancer with her usual “move forward” attitude, has always known that life is too short for regrets:

“What’s done is done,” she says. “You can’t do anything about it, so move on and make the most of now.”

“Enjoy your good health while you have it.”

“Do unto others as they would do unto you, but do it first and do it harder.”

This is not as negative as it sounds. It has made me AVOID the people who would do me harm and embrace those who would do me good.

My mother always said, “Learn to enjoy your own company.” In other words, don’t be afraid to be on your own; welcome the opportunities it presents. As a child wanting a playdate, I thought it was kind of cruel advice. As an adult, I think it is quite sage.

“To heck with the housework - let’s go to the beach!” exclaimed my mom one summer day, and it truly summed up her attitude toward parenting. My brothers and I knew that we were valued, fun to be with, and her very highest priority, because when the demands of everyday life collided with enjoying her family, my mom erred on the side of spending more time, rather than less, with the ones she loved.

She never had the opportunity to know her three grandchildren, who are now teenagers, but I’ve recalled her words hundreds of times in my seventeen years of parenthood, thus freeing myself to spend an hour building lego villages, or watching ants carry crumbs down the sidewalk, or going to the beach - and it was always, always time well spent.

don’t yell( be calm)
don’t tell(be discrete and trustworthy)
be grateful as hell(humble and grateful)
have a good life

After my son died, I felt the power of regret, and resolved to always act on my good and generous impulses. This is not always possible, but it is a good rule of life, which I have tried to teach to my children.

My own mother used to quote “let not the sun rise on your anger”, and taught me to try to resolve conflicts with my husband as they occurred, and never go to bed angry.

My dad taught me by what he did and didn’t do. He was always waiting for “When things settle down…” to move forward in life, to pursue his dreams. Then he got lung disease and got too sick to fulfill some of those dreams, like traveling to Ireland and seeing his grandchildren grow up. When he died, I vowed not to make the same mistake. While I’m not quite there yet in every way, I do spend much more time enjoying my family and less time working, made possible in part by the inheritance he left me. I am pursuing my dream of certification as a life coach, so I can help other people pursue their dreams, instead of waiting for a mythical tomorrow when things will be easy.

I learned from what my dad DID do to be loving, generous, unendingly curious about the world, and attentive to nature. From him, I learned how to paint, build a campfire, paddle a canoe (and glide past a beaver dam), set up a tent, read a map, and drive a stick-shift. I learned that family comes first, even when they’re hard to deal with. Like he always did, I tell my daughter daily that I love her. I feel I am honoring his memory every day that I laugh, cook good food, listen to great music, and walk among the trees holding my daughter’s hand while my husband holds her other one.

I learned that everyday you are becoming something. You can become better, the same, or worse. We must learn from each experience. What we become is from the decisions that we make. You are the product of the books you read, what you listen to, and who you associate with. We live by CHOICE, not Chance. The only one that can stop you from achieving your goals and dreams is you! Your own doubt, your own fear. Replace doubt and fear with faith. You can hang your head and complain, but that’s not going to do anybody any good! You must keep moving forward. With out a struggle first, the caterpillar will never fly, it will die. With every adversity comes with it a seed of greater or equal benefit, you gotta be looking for them.

To live the life of a winner just keep getting up every time you get knocked down. Winners get knocked down but never knocked out! --Justin 22yrs old

1) Haste makes waste
2) Blood is thicker than water (His way of saying family comes before friends)
3) And “SISO,” short for “S in, S out,” meaning don’t expect great things to come of minimal effort.

I have regularly told my twin 6 year olds, “I love you more than you can imagine.” If stickened by a terminal illness I would sdvise them as follows:
“I love you two so much that at any time I would have given my life on a moment’s notice to protect you. As you move through life without me, my one lasting hope is that each of you find someone to love as much I love you.”

Tell your kids: Be a really good friend to the people you deeply care about. When they get in trouble, go out of your way to be there for them. Listen to their problems, stay all day and take care of them, take care of their kids, help them get some sleep, cook them some meals, tell them how much you love them and all the reasons why. You will never regret this.

Don’t overdo the presents to your kids on Christmas/Hannukah and birthdays – one sizable gift per holiday is enough. But on the other hand, give them lots of small treats throughout the year for no reason.

Don’t tell your kid that you want to be her “friend.” You’re not her friend, you’re her parent – something much more valuable and meaningful to her. You’re her guide through life, and you can’t fully be that if you’re her peer.

For choosing a mate: Don’t make the mistake of confusing a man’s resumé (including his education and GPA) with a list of qualifications to be a good partner in life. Yes, intellect is important, but it doesn’t follow that the smarter the man, the better partner he’ll be, even if the smarts make him very attractive to you. Is he kind? How does he treat you? How does he treat other people? That is a much better indication of how happy you will be together.

Tell your kids: When you’ve decided you really want something – a job, a career, a relationship – fight for it. Really give it your best shot, and don’t be afraid to stand up and ask for what you want.

Teach your kids to always, always, always remember who they are, what they stand for, where they come from, and the values they hold dear. It’s a good thing to be different, and you should be proud of it. This will help prevent them from doing stupid things just because other people are doing them.

If you want your kids to love to read and learn, of course read to them a lot – but also, get them excited about stories. Share with them the stories you love the best. Read for your own pleasure. And – this is very important – make sure they know that you look up to and admire the people in your life who have learned a lot, who have educated themselves, who surround themselves with learning opportunities and continually strive to learn more. Then try to be that person yourself.

Always tell your kids that even when you’re mad at them and are lecturing them or yelling, you always, always love them. You never stop loving them even when you’re angry.

From my great-grandfather: Never eat the last pistachio in the bowl. (The reason is, sometimes the pistachios are rotten. If the last one you ate was a good one, you should keep that good taste in your mouth and not take a risk that the last one will leave a bad taste in your mouth.)

Do not ignore your kids. Try hard to listen to them and to treat them with respect, as you would want to be treated. Don’t trivialize or dismiss your kid’s concerns just because they seem unimportant to you. To him, they might seem agonizing.

From my great-aunt: Every foreign language you learn is another human being you can talk to. (And she knew seven!)

From my grandparents (Holocaust survivors): The best investment you can make in your life is an education, and vacations with your family. No one can ever take either of those away from you.

my father, a physician, died last summer. i am also a physician and learned the essense of how to take care of people from him. “there but for the grace of god” was one of his many important teachings. you don’t need to be a physician to learn this. we are all vulnerable and we all need to treat each other kindly and with love. dad lived that every day of his life–i am doing my best to emulate him.

my mother’s advice had to do with playing poker— “It’s not the chair— it’s the ass in it.”
By that she meant that we make our own luck. great words to live by

You can NEVER ask too many questions and you NEVER can say “I Love You” too much…

Be well rounded.(which I’ve as, “sample all the dishes in life’s magnificent banquet”)
If you don’t have something nice to say, you’re not paying attention.(which reminds me where to direct my attention)

My parents did not necessarily say these things but taught them by example:

* Find some one to love, who loves you
* Be strong
* Take responsibilty
* Don’t be afraid of change
* Read for pleasure

To that I would add for my daughter, the things that have been most important to me and will always ultimately give you joy - children and art.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! It’s fine to have role models and learn from other’s actions but once you start comparing your situation with another’s you are bound to end up unhappy!

Learn to appreciate what you have here and now.

My daughter’s a toddler, and in the important ways, I think she’s taught me more than I’ve taught her. She has so much joy, so much wonder, so much love.

“If you’re ready, you can go.”

I didn’t understand that when my father said this, that he was passing this down from his own grandfather. It seems simple enough, but it can apply to more than making sure you’re dressed to go roller skating after church or, in my father’s case, that you’re up, dressed and chores finished in order to accompany granddad on one of his many drives to Graton, Illinois to purchase fish.

It’s a lesson in preparedness. When oppurtunity avails itself it is best to be in a position to take full advantage of it.

Discretion is the better part of valor (My mother, quoting Shakespeare). Essentially, sometimes it’s better just to keep your mouth shut.

Do it with purpose! (My father, quoting himself) Variations include: Drive like you mean it, Walk like you know where you’re going, etc…
My interpretation: Live in the moment and do each thing deliberately and intentionally. Not paying attention can lead to accidents or missing important moments.

A few days after my mother died, my three siblings and I were comparing notes and discovered that each of us thought that we were her favorite child. I don’t know how she managed that trick, but I do know that she NEVER compared us to each other, never repeated any confidences, and never belittled us, especially in front of each other.

It has been 15 years since her death, but I am sure that each of us is STILL convinced that we were the favorite child.

The only thing you really have is integrity - don’t give it up.

I know that you wanted Adults to answer this question ,but I fill like no one else could answer this question better than child them self. I only been on this earth for 15 teen years but I’m at the point of my life when the advice from my Mother and Father some times fill like it doesn’t work. Until I find my self in between a work and a hard place that’s when I can find the most helpful advice. I can say that this is one thing that my grandmother have given me for advice is to ” Love what you Love and Hate what Hate but you can’t do both” the main point that I would like to make is you shouldn’t wait until someone tells you your ill take the time every day to give you child or teen advice that would help them continue on a successful path.

When I was a couple of years out of law school, I had the good fortune to work with a woman lawyer a few years older; she had a husband and three sons and a house on Long Island. One day she waved me into her office and closed the door and said, “Always remember, dear, there is *never* just one man, or just one job, or just one dress.”

• “Self-pity is the sweetest feeling.”

• In response to whining about trivial things: “May that be your worst tragedy.”

• “No, you are going to do it NOW. If you can’t make yourself do it today, you won’t be able to do it tomorrow either.”

• “The first pancake is always a crumpled blob.” (This sounds much sillier in English, but the point still stands.)

If you need to search for an excuse, there is no excuse. And sometimes, although it wasn’t your fault, it is still your responsibility. Suck it up and deal with it.

Don’t lie. If you lie to cover up something you’ve done, you will get found out anyway, and the fact that you lied will make it worse for you than if you had told the truth the first time.

Do not EVER lie to someone because you think you are protecting them. Yes, they may be upset to hear that you are ill, or whatever it is, but they would find out anyway, and they would not appreciate your attempt to “protect” them. They will never trust you again– this goes double when the person in question is a child. If it is something that a six-year-old really should not know, then that’s up to your judgement, but do not lie to your children about your health or financial problems. I cannot stress this enough: it is quite easy to lose someone’s trust, but very difficult to get it back.

When someone says something offensive or insulting right to your face, or mutters it under their breath, don’t become speechless with fury. Smile politely and say, “Pardon me, I didn’t quite hear you– could you repeat that?” In the rare case that they have the guts to say it again, see the next bit of advice:

In junior high school, my best friend and I began referring to the mean popular kids as Them Don’t worry what Them think, if you do, you’d have to hide under the bed all day.

Make sure your conscience, that “little voice in the back of your head”, isn’t a separate voice from your own. If you are able to suppress your conscience, you are well on your way to losing it forever.

Being nice to you doesn’t necessarily make someone a nice person. Pay attention to how they treat people who they privately consider stupid and annoying.

And as Terry Pratchett said: be yourself, as hard as you can.

— Posted by nearly 18

Have more than you show, tell less than you know, and ride further than you go

1) Live in the here and now. Make the best of what you have, now. They lived around the world and we always lived in the here and now and had the best possible lives we could have hoped for: In Africa, Europe and the USA.

2) Explore, be curious. Always ask why? Always try new foods. Always go to a museum and learn something new.

3) Love your spouse every day. Show them that you love them. Appreciate them. Adore them.

4) Work hard, really hard. Those who work hard and love what they do can be extremely successful in both work and family. No one who succeeded was lazy.

5) Be optimistic. “It” will work out for the best. If you don’t get the “job, car, house, etc” what you do get will be what you actually needed and deserved.

6) Never lie. Never tell an un-truth. You will be found out. Maybe not today, but someday.

7) Money is not the root of happiness, but it is better to have it than not. “Where do you think we get the money to go skiing?” Vacations are nice. It takes money to have nice ones.

8) Education is critical. Never cheat. Always do your best. Go to the best schools you can get into (not your dream school) and do you absolute best to get a great education.

9) Love

When I used to tell my mom someone was being mean to me at school and I would ask her what to do, she said, “Just ignore them.” When I would complain about the manner in which people act sometimes, she would say, “It takes a lot of different kinds of people to make the world go’round.”

If I had listened to what others had said to me, my life would be much different. I certainly would not be the person I am today, which is very individualistic in nature. I am very glad to have ignored and gone my own way and also noticed that it does take a lot to make the world go ’round.

Though others can harm you, you are the one who decides whether or not to remain a victim.

Also: You’re never done learning.

If we only realized how fragile we all are, we wouldn’t be so easily intimidated.

My Mom once said “If you came home and said you wanted to become a nurse. I would tell you I didn’t think you would enjoy being being a nurse and I wouldn’t think you’d be very good at it either. But I’m your Mom and I’d suppport you in whatever you’d want to do. That’s how I feel about you moving to NYC with your boyfriend and that’s all I’ll ever say about it .” Years later and one happy marriage to that boyfriend it was always nice to know she supported my choices no matter what she might have thought about them.
I also never became a nurse.

“Age quod agis!” (Do what you are doing, or focus!)

“Life is a banquet and too many people are starving to death!”

“Can’t never did anything”

“Be slow to make promises, but quick to keep them”

Every time my kids get into an argument which devolves into insults, I make each give the other sincere compliments to equal the number of insults given. Sometimes this takes awhile because it’s easier for them to think of “slams”, but we sit at the kitchen table for as long as it takes. I am relentless in this particular pursuit as a mother.

“You don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to be respectful to everyone.”

“Eating is serious business.”

“Work Hard. Be Nice.”

When faced with a choice, I choose happy. This is coming from a mother who has survived the deaths of 3 children and still gets up and out of bed every single day to care for the one that is still alive and well. I have been blessed in so many different ways that I can’t bear the thought of living the rest of my life grieving. I choose happy.

When my children were younger and would argue or fight, I would have them sit across from each other and say 3 things that they liked about each other or 3 things that were nice to each other. Before they were finished they usually had forgotten what they were fighting about and always ended up laughing.

What my Father (a retired firefighter) told me at the age of 12: “There is not enough money in the world to pay you for a job you hate, because you are selling your very life and you’ll spend more of it at work than you will at home. Pick colleagues that you can love and work that is worth what you bring to it. You’ll never regret it.” And he was right. I haven’t.

And, the advice I will give my son about dealing with others: “Always remember, sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can break your heart.” Read that quotation when I was a teenager and it struck me like a gong. It’s still the single best piece of advice I’ve ever seen.


Working with children I have heard many teachers say “You get what you get when you get it, and you don’t get upset” (may I add I have said this to myself in the worst of times!)

If I were to become terminally ill? I know I would have the support and encouragement from my loved ones and perhaps that is most important.

In the best of times and in the worst of times: “Its the simple things in life that truly matter”

Marry a man with whom who you would want to have children (even if you don’t think you’re going to have children).

I never knew what she meant until I met my husband-to-be. As soon as I saw him with my best friends’ children, I understood. They melted with him. I knew he was the right one, even if we didn’t have children.

I’m a lawyer and he was the first serious non-lawyer I dated. My father pulled me aside one day and said, “listen, leave the lawyering in the office. Don’t litigate in your relationship. Wives, husbands, kids, they hate that. ‘Were you lying then, are you lying now?’ You think juries hate it? Try it on your spouse.” He was right. Juries may hate it, but husbands hate it even more.

Our 4 year old son, though, is starting to pick up on a pretty good deposition technique: Mommy, I didn’t say I *did* do it. I said I was *going* to do it. So even though i haven’t done it yet, I didn’t really say anything wrong. Sigh.

Honor the greatness in everyone! And oh yeah…

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…it’s all small stuff”

I think it is important to show your children compassion. One of the best ways to do that is to have their grandparents move in with you or very close by, so that they can spend time with them.

Show your children that food does not come from the grocery store. Having a garden and raising chickens is a start.

Show your children that you appreciate the world around them and find beauty in it all.

And, when your child starts driving on a highway teach them to always remember “you have to go under the bridge before you can go over it”.

# Failure, mistakes*

Failure is not necessarily a deviation from ultimate goal of success

this is not an answer to your second question but I would like to impart to them the knowledge that they are precious as human beings and I am grateful for having them in my life even if it turns out to be the shortest time, so no matter how naughty or trying my kids are or have been, at the end of the day when I am putting them to bed I tell them “you are agood person and thank you for being my son”

Find joy in life’s simple pleasures.

Do something crazy (fun) every now and then … just because.

• Turn experience into wisdom.(even failure teaches us something)

• Listen to that voice inside you.(its kind of like the check engine light)

• All things in moderation, including moderation.

• Actions speak louder than words.

• Be the change you want to see in the world.

We are biological creatures who are fortunate enough to possess adequate intellect to recognize and understand our biological drives From this understanding we should be able to appreciate the context in which biological drives can be harmful or helpful. Hopefully this knowledge will give them the capability to make prudent decisions instead of being driven soley by their biology.

“Moderation in everything, even moderation.”

“Live so that when you’re old, you’ll regret the things you did, not the things you didn’t do.”

The greatest art in life is the ability to listen with an open heart and an open mind, not to become too dogmatic or opinionated and therefore divided, whether religiously, politically or along racial or ethnic lines.

Question and observe -- not only ourselves in our relationships but also the world around us.

Learn how closely related we all are, not only to our fellow man but also to nature and all forms of life on this very fragile earth.

Recognize that we’re only guests here on earth -- love and preserve it for future generations.

* FEAR *

Make your choices based on what you believe in, not what you fear. Even if the results don’t turn out the way you want, you will never regret acting on your beliefs, but you will regret being inhibited by your fears.

Fear, a good servant but a bad master so never let it lead your decisions

Inspire yourself with knowledge.
Make easy for yourself what you find difficult.
Love what you dislike.
Make your work the best of works.
Preserve yourself from vainglory.
Prefer bounteousness.
Make little of the good in your words and deeds, though it may be much.
Make much of the evil in your words and deeds, though it may be little.

• Spread Justice.

• Correct Discord.

• Spread Good Behavior.

• Restrain Rage.

• Reach for excellence.

• Milden your temper.

• Beautify your conduct.

• Refrain from condemnation.

• Speak the truth, though it be painful.

• Give good counsel to seekers of advice.

• Act gently with the weak.

• Help the wronged.

• Visit the sick.

• Share.

Use your hands, mind and spirit.
Play hard
Work hard
and love mightily.

“You can always make more money. You can never make more time.”

My mother I were always good friends; I will admit that I idolized her. She had gotten herself out of an abusive marriage in the mid-sixties when most women stayed and were blamed for the problems anyway; she fought and scratched her way to an executive position in a commercial real estate company so that she could support her mother and three young daughters. Her life was never easy, nor did sufferings ease when her later years were destroyed by the premature death of my sister, then followed by a series of her own disabling illnesses.

• Live the examined life; don’t be afraid to look into your own heart, or to simply sit and think.

• When faced with a very difficult decision, do that which seems the most difficult. The “scarier”path will most often take you where you should be going.

• Keep your sense of humor. Her favorite saying was, “So aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the show?” She’d follow it with a wry chuckle.
• It’s almost a year since her death now, and her wisdom, inherent morality and huge heart are amongst the greatest gifts life has given me.

A friend is a friend, warts and all.

Hate is a very strong word

Accept people for who they are.

“Live everyday as though it where you last because you never know when it maybe.” “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is a gift”

love life:-)

Don’t quit; stay in the game. When you are in the game, you will always have a chance at winning, but your chances go to 0 if you stop playing.

Express gratitude for life, friends, family, home, income enough to provide, every day.

the longer you keep them waiting the more they’ll like the meal.

Have fun and nap when you can.

1. Make memories

2. spend time doing things with them instead of spending time on something that can wait.

3. Tomorrows may never come, so live your day today.

4. Never forget to say those 3 precious words, “I love you.”

5. Never go to bed angry.

6. Let children know how valuable and precious they are.

7. Love is saying your sorry.

8. Try to live life so there aren’t any regrets

9. Always think before you speak, as words can either tear down or build up.

10. Remember God doesn’t make junk and He isn’t through with any of us yet.

11. Always believe in yourself.

12. Hope is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. So see it and
it belongs to you.

One of the core needs of humankind is “boredom avoidance,” right up there with keeping oneself, fed, warm, etc.

Develop ways to meet this need that will also expand your competencies and capabilities, not just by passively absorbing or actively spinning your wheels: Put your stuff away instead of creating your own excitement because you’ve lost it; think first about how to do a task instead of filling time with do-overs; make art in any form–sewing, cooking, and mechanical tasks also qualify–instead of watching TV.

1. Find a vocation that is in keeping with your values. You should feel that whatever you do, you are helping to create the kind of world you want to live in. The best career choice may not may not be something that you ‘like’ (in other words, don’t waste your precious educational time and money on becoming an ‘artist’, like I did, because there are many more valuable things to do with your life than make art).

2. Don’t not do something because you are afraid of failing. Better to try and fail than spend your life wondering what would have happened.
2a. But don’t take stupid, unnecessary risks, please.

3. Talk at length to your intended WELL before you marry about finances, division of household labor, child-rearing philosophies, long-term goals, and how to handle your respective families if we are prone to meddling or misbehavior. I will even pay for you to go see a financial counselor together.

4. Love your siblings. One day, your father and I will be gone, and they may be the only family you have left.

• “A job worth doing is worth doing well”

• “Don’t worry - they will never notice it on a moving horse.”

• “Have integrity. You are the only one who can care for your reputation.”

For the most part, no one is going to know what you planned to do, but didn’t; what you planned to write, but didn’t; where you planned to go, but didn’t. And even if they do know, they’re probably not going to care.

These are words from my mother, who tries to teach me still that I don’t have to feel guilty and judged about failing to live up to my overly-high expectations of myself.

On his wedding day, the groom’s father pulled him aside to tell him that when he and his bride moved into their home, he should claim the side of the bed which was furthest from the door. That way, when someone needs to get up to tend children in the night, the wife will automatically do it, because she is closer to the door. Furthermore, this was secret advice, never to be disclosed to the wife.

My mother was writing a letter to my father and signed the letter, “all my love”. Worried, I asked her, what about me? She explained that love was like an amoeba; you could give it all away and still have it all to give away again.

My father, on receiving a letter from me with some misspellings, wrote back that, “it is better to give than to receive, and easier to spell too”

My sister, who is currently studying in Brazil, and other American study abroad students recently got into a heated discussion with a group of some Mexican students about cultural stereotypes going both ways. The Mexicans were upset at how they were portrayed by Americans and the Americans were sick of being expected to be dumb and fat (among other things). They hashed it out and came to the conclusion that they would return to their home countries and do their best to change people’s stereotypes. My sister told me that all the students, who are all between the ages of 16 and 19, together decided that they were Citizens of the World.

It’s very true. I would tell my children this. We are Citizens of the World. We’re all in this together.

Today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.

“Be good, be careful and have fun.” Unlike the Engineers’ Triangle (Good, Fast, Cheap), it is possible to do all three at once.

Other things I’ve learned:
- You can tell a lot by how people treat someone who can’t help or harm them.
- Forgiveness is not earned.
- Any experience can be made valuable.
- Learning from others’ mistakes is usually less painful.

Live each day like it was your last.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Have a good day because no one else is going to have it for you-

My father’s best advice was to marry someone I could talk to. He also said that even if people didn’t believe in God, they should behave as if they did.

My mother always told my sister and me that even if our father (who she adores) died or left her, we would be okay because she had a profession and could support us. In other words, marry for love but be prepared to work.

I always told my son that we were very lucky because we had everything we needed and most of what we wanted.

All you really have to do in this life is breathe and go to the bathroom; everything else is optional.

• Drink a cup of water with lemon juice every day

• walk two or three miles everyday;

• when your children take a nap, lie down or put your feet up on a chair for 20 minutes.

• “I never thought I was raising children, I always knew I was raising adults.”

• When I was struggling with a ‘50s paint by number gift: ”paint your own way, not their way.”

• When I was grousing about clothes to wear to school: “Are you clean, are you warm, are you dry?” Enough said.

• On learning to drive: slow down before the curve, accelerate in the curve.

I try to live and give the advice that Jesus gave when asked what was the most important commandment. He replied that it is what is posted on the doorpost of many Jewish homes, “Love God with all your heart, body, mind and soul” and the second is like unto it he said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

If you don’t like the religiosity of my advice, you can rephrase it into this: Recognize a higher power has made you and all the good things in the universe; recognize that higher power as the source of love, life, justice, compassion, and hope; and dedicate yourself to living your life in harmony with the higher power. Also practice the following (whose first letters spell the word SPICE): simplicity, peace, integrity, community and equality. These practices will be the testimony that you love your neighbor.

• “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”

• Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.

• Power through repose.

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.'’ from John Lennon.

a saying in tamil that roughly translates to: Parents are kids worst enemies. Meaning, whatever mean things you do to others, comes back to haunt your kids.

You’ll never lose money, possession if you worked hard and honestly for it.

Be succinct with your advice, lectures are illogical.
Conduct yourself as if your children are always there watching.
To choose is a choice, not to choose is one also. Try not to ‘not choose’.
Be generous.
At the end of the day, look in the mirror and like what you see looking back at you.

The best advice my father ever gave me was “Shake it off, Molly”. I am now 23 years old and out in the world fending for myself for the first time. There are often moments when I find myself whispering “Shake it off, Molly- everything will be ok”

The best advice from my mom? “Try anything once.”

“dont worry about your looks, there will always better someone prettier and someone less pretty - that way your always in the middle. Its the same for jobs, money…you are right where you should be”

Remember compassion
Practice forgiveness
In all things, love

When in doubt what to do, always do the kind
thing. You will never go wrong doing
something kind for someone else.

• Get outside and sweat at least three times a week.

• If you have to count calories, eat only dessert.

• Betty Crocker can make a better cake than most of us, but there’s no substitute for homemade frosting.

• Bets don’t count in the family.

• Love all children, no matter how naughty they’re behaving.

• Find a favorite song to whistle; whistle it every day of your life.

1. Let your grown children live their own lives.

2. We are all unique beings. Celebrate the differences.

1. Don’t smoke.
2. If anything in your life seems really hard, try Plan B (then Plan C).
3. “This too will pass.”

There’s a book in there for someone to read, digest and write…

Always give back to your community and especially to those less fortunate whether it be in time or talents or worldly goods.

Words to live by:
Kindness counts.
Laughter takes less muscles than frowns.
Life is too short to eat plain bagels.
Listen to children.

My mom knew that choices always paralyzed me. At one point at the end of my twenties she said something that liberated me from that paralysis forever. “Lisa, by not saying YES to anything, you’re saying NO to everything.” The brilliance and clarity of that reality sticks with me today.

From my father, a quote that was always above the desk in his study: “He who does the thing has the power. He who does not the thing has not the power.” I never understood that one until the first time I achieved something that I honestly didn’t believe I could do - and from that moment on I “had the power”. I’ve been seeking out challenges to “get the power” ever since.

1. Dignity - maintaining a sense of self worth
2. Grace - when it comes to generousity, care

do things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

The three best lessons my family ever taught me:
1) We love you.
2) Do something you enjoy and we’ll be happy and proud of you.
3) Never stop learning.

My uncle, a shop teacher in LA, always had a small project going that we could work on when we visited him. His maxim (which I’ve heard many times) was “Measure twice and cut once”. It applies to many life situations.

If I were diagnosed today with a terminal illness, I’d tell my kids it was really time to make that hike to the top of Mount Whitney that we keep talking about. I don’t have any real words of wisdom to impart, but I’d enjoy the trip to the top with them and the company and conversation along the way.

From TPP — WHy wait til you get bad news?. Do it now.

Don’t ever say to your children in anger and or disgust:

“and YOUR mother …” or “and YOUR father…”

Remember that YOU are the one who made them that. It was never their choice, but yours.

Advice from Mom: 1) Pray about your problems then listen for God to answer. 2) Don’t try to grow up too fast. Each stage of life is important and supposed to be different from others. 3) Books are your best friends. They can teach you things you don’t have time to experience on your own; 4) I’ll never blame you for failing, but you’ll blame yourself for failing to try (I went to law school at 40, so I was listenting; 5) I’ll never blame you for making a mistake. But you’ll lost my trust if you lie about it. 6) I love you without conditions.

Advice from Dad: 4 and 5 above, plus. 1) When your ancestors were freed from slavery, they had to go back to the plantation because they had no tools to make a living. Take the tools I’m giving you–faith in God, education and understanding your country, its history and Constitution, so you will never be in bondage. 2) I work hard and I love you. When you leave this home, your actions will tell the story of your family. 3) Everybody can give you a reason to love them or hate them. Look for the reason to love them. 4) Do the hard work early in life, so you don’t have to later in life.

Terminal illness advice: I have been close to death’s door, but I have no children. So, to any child I say: 1) Life is hard. I truly believe we are here to help each other. 2) Stay close to people who have shown they love YOU in a true way. 3) Develop discipline that supports what is special about you and be firm in you are and who you associate with. Not every good time is a good use of your time. 4) Stay away from stupid and careless dangers (fast driving, drinking, drugs, etc. ). You are too young to judge what you can handle and so are your friends. 5) The tough times of being young don’t have to last forever. In the U.S., at any time, you can chart your course in life. Do it.

When I was about to make the long journey from Vietnam to Harvard to go to college, my dad sat me down and said, in a very serious tone, “You’ll be learning many new things in the coming years. Whatever you do, I want you to keep this in mind: don’t become a spy for the US government.” I was thinking “Here we go..,” but then he added, “Don’t be a spy for your own country either.” I take it as his war-veteran way of saying “Be upright, project yourself as you are, and never compromise your principles.”

“Winners never quit and quitters never win”and…“Never, EVER give up”

1.do what you know in your heart is the right thing. your heart controls your well being.
2.”when in doubt, don’t.”
3.remember things will work out, they always do.
4.there will always be someone whose situation is worse than your own. help others.
5.learn coping skills. use them.
6.listen to music and dance.

1. IT is right in front of your nose. (mom)
2. Retrace your steps.(dad)
3. If you wake up in the morning and you have your health then you have everything.(dad)
4. Patience is a virtue.(mom)

Regarding relationships, my Dad told me when I was dating a jerk, “It never gets better than it is in the beginning.” He was right, and I’ve told many friends the same thing since.

“Life is mostly boring with only bits of excitement.”

My mother told me this sage piece of advice once when I was eight. She was right; a large chunk of life is boring. From the upward of a 2 hour daily commute to work when you will clock in more then 40 hours a week. Grocery shopping. Oil changes. Waiting rooms at doctor’s offices. This isn’t necessarily depressing. It just proves that life is much more than constant emotional/physical stimulation. Most real growth is achieved in the quiet, humble workings of life.

I want my children to know the lessons that they have taught me. My nine year old son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, reinforces everyday that there is untold value in being uniquely, authentically yourself. All of us are precious gems and we should treat ourselves and each other accordingly.

The lesson from my 2 year old son - always hold onto hope and don’t give up. Right when you are about to give up may be right when more than you ever even hoped for knocks on your door.

My parents both had very difficult childhoods. My father lost his mother when he was 4 and my mother lost her father when she was 6. What they lost in their own childhoods, they gave to their own children in full measure. They had such an acute awareness of how profoundly and deeply children feel the events in their lives.

Their greatest gift and wisdom lay in how they celebrated each one of us for who we were as individuals. We knew without question we were truly being seen for who we are and that we were just who we needed to be. We all felt that we brought joy to them by being in their lives in their actions everyday.

To be truly seen and understood as a person - to feel that your parents are just as excited about getting to know you as you are about discovering who you are - is the greatest gift any child can receive.

“There is always a better way.”

My dad said that to my two sisters and me through the years growing up, and I still think in those terms!

My grandmother told me as a young child “If you don’t eat your green beans they will cry.” when i didn’t want to eat them. Green beans are now my favorite food.

We sing a song every night; the central theme is “I love what you are, I love what you do.” If they remember nothing else I say to them, I want them to know that.

From my mother to her teenage daughter: “Honey, I love you. That doesn’t mean I have to like you right now, but I will always love you.” And she reminded me that it was okay if at times I returned the sentiment.

Make love as often as you can, while you can.

My spanish-speaking grandmother always called me by “Preciosa”. Lesson to children: Know your worth. As a woman, remembering how important I am has not always been a priority. All children should have someone tell them this everyday.

Also, I think the most important legacy I will leave to my children is the ability to laugh. I feel that if you laugh often you can get through anything. Anger, pain, etc. Prayer doesn’t hurt either.

“Average people do average things. Who wants to be average?”

if you’re bitter, it’s probably your own fault. which, really, is an extension of “its better to regret what you did do rather than what you didn’t do”.

My mum always told me “you can’t judge the weight of someone else’s cross”. It taught me to be compassionate to other people, even if I didn’t understand their pain, and also that it was ok to get sad and hurt about things that someone else might not .

The best advice I’ve ever given anyone is “you’ll figure it out”. No-one is born a brain surgeon or an astronaut - if you come up against something you don’t know how to do, you’ll figure it out. It sounds simple but its really helped me.

“love the one you’re with”. Consider these words well. The advice has many meanings.

There is a lot of good advice posted here. This bit from my father is not as profound as many of the others, but it has come in handy:

Every day choose not to believe at least three things that you hear that day.

• Pray not for a lighter load, pray for a stronger back.

• To accomplish great things, have great vision and planning, and be willing to work diligently through the boring parts.

• Learn to focus on gratitude, and to move on after disappointment; you will be happier that way.

• To be truly useful, knowledge needs wisdom and kindness.

• Learn to have patience with yourself and with others.

. —

“When you make mistakes, because you will because we all do, try not to make those mistakes life altering mistakes”.

Everything a person needs to know is in that statement. We all do good things and we all do bad things. If we stop and think long enough before we do anything, the hope is that when we do those bad things that they won’t send our lives down a path we cannot recover.

Best wishes to all parents because we have all taken on a role that is more important then anything else in this world.

Never change lanes in an intersection.

Always bring enough money with you so you can get home.

Don’t shake hands like a fish.

Love many,

Trust few,

Always paddle your own canoe.

-Helen, my grandmother.

1- always buy the good toilet paper

2- always use the restroom when you’ve got the chance

3- be nice to people who cook for you and people that clean for you

Learn how to cook.

“Saute the onions till they’re translucent before you add anything else.”- Mom

my mom is a painter. She liked to say, “Sometimes ugly is beauty, and beauty is ugly.”

“Remember you are unique, just like everyone else.”

Create happiness because it’s all we have, because no one will do it for you, and because the alternative is grim.

“Just dance”

Be safe.
Don’t be stupid.
Don’t get caught.

Be good. And if you can’t be good, be careful and don’t be stupid. If you aren’t careful and do something stupid, call me. I love you no matter what.

“Don’t die, don’t lie.”

Don’t panic now – there’s always plenty of time to panic later.

Kids, do as I say, not as I do !

Don’t go to law school.

“Eat a live toad first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you all day.”

Don’t put peas in your nose.

My father: The squeaky wheel gets greased.
My mother: Who wants grease?

you can pick your friends. you can pick your nose. but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.

Don’t have a TV at home. Let your kid go next door to watch it.

Trust everyone, but deal your own cards.

Farting is a natural and sometimes funny thing that connects all men together – but for different reasons. Men fart all the time and women never do.

Close your mouth, you’ll look smarter.

Enter Free Contests!

“Go outside and play!”

“Handsome is as handsome does”

I was told this when I was a little girl and didn’t understand it (it wasn’t explained to me).

From my friend Jesse’s mom, “Use an aspirin for birth control, hold it between your knees.”

From my father-in-law, “If someone offers you money, take it.”

From a book I read once, “Be wary of women carrying soup.”

My own mantra, “Everything always works out.”

Belly laughs make life worth living.

Gepetto to Pinocchio: “Stay wood, kid.”

My mom alway said this when we’d be crying becuase we were hurt: Are you bleeding? Is the bone sticking out? No? Then you’re fine. Go and play.

“Life is not about surviving the storm, it is about dancing in the rain.”

From Barry Korb. You don’t have time to be good at everything. People who are successful at one thing, are usually failures at others. The more time you spend on your work, the less time you have for other things.

Eat When You're hungry; sleep when you're tired. Don't worry about you don't have, think of what you have. Do the easy stuff first. Don't worry about things you can't change Unhappiness comes from wanting something you cant have. So stop wanting things.