Lessons From Mom

06 Feb 2015

‘Lessons From Mom’ -written by Muriel Sharp, my mother.

1.  Treat all people with respect, sincerely.  (Unless they are truly bad people).  My husband always interacts with people who work at service stations.  He gets to know their names and makes them feel like they are good people.  THEY ARE.  They work awful hours for minimum pay and generally keep a day job to make ends meet.  I think it’s really important to make people feel good about themselves, because it brings out the best in them.

2.  Always bring a gift to someone who invites you to dinner.  If you bring flowers, it’s preferable to bring them in  a vase, because not everyone is organized in the kitchen and it may add more stress.  Complement their food, even if it’s not your taste, because they took the time and effort to treat you.

3.  NEVER tell people you are broke, even if you are.  It makes them really uncomfortable and they don’t feel like they want to be around you.  People like to associate themselves with positive people, because everyone has their own issues to deal with and they don’t want to be burdened or reminded of more.

4.  Be an individual and have a point of view, but not to the extent that it grates on others.  If you don’t want to go out and or drink, it makes someone very uncomfortable if you come across as if you have more willpower than them and it’s make them feel guilty for doing something that they enjoy.  The majority of human beings have demons to fight.  They won’t respect you if you act as if you breeze through life without a struggle.

5.  Always be true to yourself.  Don’t lie about who you are; i.e. acting as if you are better than other people and staging your life as if you come from a line of poets, actors, kings and queens.  I have learned that people sense very quickly when someone is lying about who they are.  I used to be ashamed of my heritage from people making me feel my family was below theirs.  I eventually realized that they were no better than anyone else and it made them look worse in my eyes.  It’s all about how you treat other people and how you make them feel about themselves, NOT about making yourself look better in their eyes.

6. Giving your TIME to others is a big deal.  Listening to someone when they are down (but not overindulging them).  Going the extra mile for someone if they need help.  Always pulling your weight, especially for yourself, and at times for others.  A little push or pull can get someone moving again.

7.  NEVER be ashamed of the job you do.  If you are working you are a pillar of society.  You are paying your way and not a leech on others.

8.  Don’t categorize yourself as unlucky.  There are truly unlucky people out there who have been victims of really bad people and circumstances.  Murder rape, loss of limbs and untimely loss of loved ones.  The use of the term “Bad Luck”  should only be used in a truly relevant context.  My sister’s loss of her leg (in a very bad car accident) is one.  People like to surround  themselves with positive “winners.” .A winner is a person that gets on with life and acts like they are lucky to be alive, even if they are cleaning toilets.  I am always impressed with a smiling happy person who is holding a mop and bucket in public toilets. They have something that many people don’t. Self respect.

9. If you choose to do something, do it with respect.  Take a job, go out for an evening, make something, always be or do it the best you can be, otherwise it’s a waste of time and effort.

10. The reality is that number one is the same as number 9.  It is all about respecting yourself, respecting others and giving more than you take.  If everyone took more than they gave there would be nothing left.  Just a big empty world of empty people.


This post was written by my mother, Muriel Sharp, who is an amazing woman. She has been the inspiration to help get through some of my biggest struggles and has taught me to respect myself, others, and do all that I can to make people laugh and smile. I asked her to write me ’10 things she wish she had known at my age’ when I was going through some very tough times and I was given this in response. It was October 13, 2012 and I have kept these words dear to me ever since. Whenever I am feeling bad about life, I pull this out, read it and immediately feel better. I hope you all enjoy this and it helps to inspire you!

With love, Nikki

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