Expat Magazine

The Big 5 Life Lessons

By Expatmum @tonihargis
First off - sorry about the silence. I'm recovering from a big bout of stomach flu and well, you know how that is....
Anyhoo, I've decided to join in his meme I found over at Older Single Mum's blog. Actually it was started by Mummy from the Heart - the Big 5 Life Lessons we want to teach our children. Now, this isn't me saying "Look what a great parent I am"; it's an interesting exercise in itself and some of the tips I've been reading are great to take on board.
The Big 5 Life Lessons
So - without further ado, mine are:
1. Be Kind. There is never a reason to be mean or uncaring to someone else. Whenever you find yourself listening to the devil on one shoulder, try to think about how your words or actions might make someone else feel. Above all, be kind to people who don't have as much as you; share your stuff and do what you can for others.
2. Sort of in the same vein - "Be the change you want to see in the world". Yes, it's nicked from someone like Gandhi but my goodness, things don't improve on their own. You can't just sit around whining about child slavery, cruelty to animals, local politicians, toxins in food or whatever your big beef is. (Sorry about that pun.) To go with that "You can't change the world but you can change someone's world", should help get you motivated. (We can call that 2A.)
3. They can only say "no". I spent my early years not being very daring because my glass tends to be half empty instead of half full. As I've aged, (and become a writer used to rejections and the occasional iffy review) my skin is tougher and I don't let fear of rejection hold me back. It probably also has something to do with living in the can-do USA, where it's their mantra here. But hey - I want my kids to reach for the stars (if they want to), never under-sell themselves and just ask "What's the worst that can happen?"
4. Have Music in your Life.  I danced a lot till I was 18 and although I studied music at school, I never had the time to become really proficient in an instrument. I wish I had. My three kids all played various interments growing up (and not by being forced either, although there were a few evenings when I had to remind them to practice). One is now pursuing a musical path, and the little guy is proving to be a great drummer and a talented pianist - and I have background music in the house almost 24/7. (Yes, the drums could be a little quieter but hey...). Music really is the food of life.
5. To Thine Own Self be True - this time nicked from Shakespeare, but a must. You'll be much happier with your life if you're living it truthfully. Don't try to be something you're not, especially when your own self is more than good enough. Stand up for your beliefs and if something makes you uncomfortable, (other than eating veggies and doing homework) don't be pressured into doing it.
God, I sound like Oprah! I'm supposed to nominate people to do this but please, feel free to join in.

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