20 Life Lessons I Learned From My Mother

Today we are celebrating my mother Theresa’s 88th birthday. Her energy and positive outlook on life leaves an impression on everyone she comes in contact with. At her age she is not even thinking about retirement and goes to work every day her health permits. She used to tell people “I want to be useful, not just ornamental.”  Now she says “I’m too old to be beautiful, I may as well be useful.” What a woman!

My mom has had a huge influence on my life and the person I have become. I thank God for her every day and let her know I’m thinking about her with a daily phone call to let her know. She told someone the other day that she was worried about and hoped I was okay because she hadn’t heard from me in the past couple of days. Bless her heart!

My mother is one of the most generous, caring, compassionate, accepting, loving people I ever met. I feel blessed to be her son and she encourages me to be a blessing to others. Her wise words have taught me many lessons along the way. It is my privilege to be able to share a few of those lessons with you.

  1. Be grateful. –
  2. Be hospitable. – “All of our company brings us pleasure. Some when they come and others when they leave.”
  3. Speak your mind. – “Don’t ask me what I think if you don’t want me to speak my mind.”
  4. Be compassionate towards others. – “He who is kind to the poor will never go hungry.”
  5. Be content. – “Count your blessings, not problems.”
  6. Be excellent. – “Good enough is not good enough. Give your best.”
  7. Be forgiving. – “Forgiveness sets a prisoner free. Once you forgive, you realize that you were the prisoner.”
  8. Be generous. – let flow through you, what God gives to you. “Happiness comes from making others smile.”
  9. Be grateful always. – never complain. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s worse where there is none. “Gratitude is an attitude you give yourself.”
  10. Stay humble. – “Be nice to people on the way up, you never know who you’ll meet on the way down.”
  11. Be joyful. – “Life is what and where you make it.”
  12. Be kind. – “Kindness is helping those who can never repay you.”
  13. Be a loving, not judging. – “Love one another, but don’t get caught.”
  14. Be merciful. – “How a person treats people they don’t need, tells me how they may treat me one day.”
  15. Be optimistic. – “Things have been better, but they could be worse.”
  16. Be positive with your words. – “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”
  17. Be practical. – “Some people are too heavenly-minded to be any earthly good.”
  18. Be respectful and honor your parents. – “You’ll live longer and it won’t just feel like it!”
  19. Be thankful. – “I’m thankful for all my miserable clients… they make me appreciate all the nice ones.”
  20. Become all you were meant to be. – “Who you are is God’s gift to you. Who you become is your gift to God.”

Ben Kubassek is an international expert on social entrepreneurship, author, and speaker. He’s on a mission to help young people in developing countries launch their own businesses in order to create jobs and bring transformation to their communities.

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