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Question   Mothers, tell us the one piece of advice you hope your kids take to heart. In other words, if you had to choose just one bit of wisdom dispensed with the best of intentions that will echo in your children’s minds for the rest of their lives, we want to hear it. Sons and daughters, share the one piece of advice from Mom — replaying in a constant loop in your head — that has most shaped or inspired you.   Answers My mother used to say "The money is just as green in your pocket as it is in theirs." She was the daughter of depression parents who had done well surviving the national catatophe (they ran a dairy farm, sold farm produce in neighboring towns — chickens, strawberries). And my grandfather sold fish flies, which was curious as there wasn't much water in their part of Illinois!). My grandfather had the first automobile in town.   Over the years, I hear this echo every time a telemarketer calls, everytime I get emails about fabulous sales. I have learned that this is the underbelly of capitalism: money is of high value in parts of our society. My mother's admonition rings loud sometimes and now, looking back over my life, I realize what she told me has helped me make financial decisions, both big and small.   "Let your head save your heels!"     My mother, Margaret Cooper, was a fabulous classical pianist and she and Dad gave their four daughters the opportunity to study music from an early age and to become musicians.  Minutes before my first violin recital, as a ten-year-old, I suddenly told Mom that I had "butterflies" — in other words I was nervous and afraid to play in front of all those people.  She told me very matter of factly, "Oh no, that's not nervousness.  What you're feeling is excitement! Excitement to get up on the stage and share your beautiful music with everybody and make them all very happy." Well, that's all it took. And for the past 53 years as a performer in music, theater and dance her words have never failed me. I was a young adult when I finally realized that she had tricked me, but in doing so she had given me a valuable life skill, the ability to channel my thoughts, feelings and energy in positve directions that would aid me most. And the joy of sharing.     My parents were married over 50 years and my Mom always said the secret was never go to bed fighting or mad with each other — settle the argument before you fall asleep.     "Secure the place you live before anything else." This has been passed down to my children, her grandchildren and great grandchildren.   Her other advise was "Your only friends are your Mother and the money in your pocket." These words bring warmth to my heart when I hear my children tell their friends the same.      When I would tell my mother something that I had heard that was hurtful or seemed untrue, my mother would always say, "Consider the source."  If you hear something from someone who loves to gossip or is known to talk a lot without checking the truth before speaking, it is best to forget what you have heard from that person.     My mother always told us to treat others the way we would like to be treated.     My mother always said if you cannot say anything nice about someone, do not say anything at all.     My stepmother told me that learning to cook using fresh ingredients and leaving commercially canned or packaged foods at the grocery store would never fail me. She was right about that.     In a similar vein to gossip, my maternal grandmother ALWAYS said, 'when you grow up, you will realize that common sense is not all that common.' How True!     Always be independent. Never rely on anyone but yourself.     When all else the directions.     My mom told me that NO One Can Take Care of my Children like i do...not even her. Not that my mom wasnt a good guardian or grandma...she simply meant your children should be your priority. Trust no one to take care of them like yourself. I always remembered that.     My mother always led through example. Make your bed every morning, put a dab/spray of perfume between your breasts, and look into a mirror with a smile. She had 6 children, 2 of whom were severely disabled due to Polio, and persevered. She never complained and faced each day with courage and grace.     Make sure you have a job so that you can always suppport yourself, and don't have to just rely on a man to support you.     When returning home from doing errands, my mom would always take an indirect route to drive down a particular street. One day, I asked her why. She said, "I always go the pretty way" and pointed out a particular house with lovely landscaping. No matter where we went we saw some simple beauty because mom always went the pretty way.     My mom's most oft repeated words of advice are: "You need to get along with everyone." "If you share, you'll have more friends." and that old favorite: "Try not to fight!"     My Mom always told me "You're known by the company you keep" and "the world doesn't revolve around you" great things to remember! She was a great Mom and grandmother, kind and thoughtful. She is missed every day. Happy Mother's day in Heaven!     Give others the benefit of the doubt. Always look for the good in people. Look both ways and never forget to look up.     My mother would tell me "you are just as good as anyone else and better than most."       She would always tell me in the grocery store ... I carried you for 9 months; you can carry this out to the car. I loved that!     My mom always reminded us girls that a LADY is kind, considerate of others, always polite, never raises her voice, helps others when needed without having to be asked and . . . even more importantly, ALWAYS behaved in a manner that made people glad to see you COME, not glad to see you GO!!!  Can you tell I'll be 83 in 4 months? I don't think many parents teach these things any more.     Be always brave and intelligent and move forward irrespective of the hardships faced.     My mother told me and my siblings that we always represented home, and never let anyone tell us who we are or what we can become. And never compare ourselves to others, if we've given the best that we can do or we have, that's all we can ask of ourselves.     While my dear Mom suffered her entire life from pretty severe mental illness, which affected our entire family, she had many moments of loving clarity. I most remember her oft-repeated and heartfelt words, "be kind."     Actually the one of piece of advice that I think of daily as I get older was from my grandmother. She alwys told me   "that any day is good as long as you can get out of bed."    This puts my problems in perspective for me. I am out of bed and moving so I am thankful.     Actually, my grandmother was pretty wise. This is probably where her daughter (my mom) got it. Her advise was "Keep moving, don't just stand there. It's hard to hit a moving target!" This really makes sense now that I will be 83 in November, still work, don't go to the doctor, don't take medications . . . well, you get the idea. When I talk with my customers, they can't believe my age. I owe it all to older loved ones.
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