Robert Fulghum famously wrote “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”
Well, I never went to kindergarten. It wasn’t an option for me. In fact, I started Grade 1 in a one-room school where my class consisted of exactly one boy and one girl.
So, it was up to my mother to teach me all the important things that you learn before you go to school. Mother taught me to:
• Brush your teeth — An important lesson if you want to have a pretty smile and good health.
• Pray before going to bed — Even if you don’t pray, spend some time counting your blessings instead of counting sheep. It will reduce stress and improve your outlook on life
• Eat your veggies — Good habits start young. I was blessed with hearty farm meals, straight from the garden my mother tended with care. I’ve never met a vegetable I couldn’t eat. And I enjoy most of them.
• Say please and thank you — Good manners smooth social interactions. Studies show that a job applicant with good manners is more frequently the successful candidate for the job.
• Carry a clean handkerchief — Mom’s advice really means be prepared. Anticipate what the day might bring you and plan how you will cope with those situations. Having a plan allows you to get more done and to be more efficient doing it.
• Sit up straight — Good posture not only looks good, it also feels good. Opening up the chest allows the lungs and digestive system to work more efficiently.
• Take time to observe the wonders of nature — Early, early one morning my mother called me to look out the east window at the Morning Star. It was a special moment we shared quietly as the rest of the family slept. Now that she has passed on, I think about her whenever I see Venus, the Morning Star. Mother also pointed out flowers, birds and trees. It was an education that I started at her knee. It is a daily joy to add to that education by discovering the newness of the world around me.
Thank you Mom for teaching me everything I needed to know.