My mother taught me to look at people when I spoke to them. I remember going to McDonald’s with my mom and she had me order my food. I was a shy kid, so I was afraid to talk to strangers. I walked up to the counter with my head down and speaking very softly begin to tell the lady what I wanted. Mom stopped me and had me look at the lady as I spoke to her. I remember that lesson and the subtlety of my mother teaching me to look people in the eye. Looking someone in the eye helps you discern whether what they are saying is the truth or not. It is easy to lie with your lips, but your face will often times give you away.
There have been many times I have looked up into someone’s face and caught them rolling their eyes or looking at someone else with a look on their face, as they spoke to me. You know that look that says that they have been talking about you, and you just said something that confirmed what they said about you.
Before the days of cell phone, Uber or Lyft, people ventured out into the world untethered to their home base. You had to actually remember your telephone number if you wanted to call home. So, as a girl my mom taught me to always have a dime to call home. As a young woman she taught me to have money for a rainy day, and as a woman in a relationship with a man she taught me to always have my own money.
My mother taught me so many things that were simple yet so wise, things like, 1. Do not lie or steal because no one will believe you or trust you. 2. You can’t find money in the house, because the money is not lost. 3. If you lay down with dogs you will get up with fleas. I think we all know what that means!
Mom would always tell me to be happy. It took me a lifetime to figure out that one, but I think I know what she meant by that. No one else can make you happy, how you feel is often a choice. You can look at the glass half full or half empty, so she was telling me to choose happiness.
When I hide money around the house, or I tell my grandson to look at people when he speaks to them, I smile and remember how much I have learned from my mother, and I wonder if my grandson will remember the things that I am teaching him.