Ever since my mom (finally!) started texting last year, I’ve made a habit of sending her little notes during the day. Little pep talks, if you will, like, “Hi, Ms. Bear. Hope you’re having a good day” or “Hi, Ms. Bear…make sure you’re taking care of yourself today” — that last one is a favorite of mine if she has been especially frenetic lately and doing too much, which she has been known to do a time or two or a hundred.
Well, she’s been returning the favor by sending Janelle and I inspirational quotes she finds. She sent us these words of wisdom on Facebook last week…
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
–William Martin, author of The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents
Honestly, those simple words almost brought tears to my eyes. Not because I was utterly shocked by my mom’s feelings or taken aback by her admission. I suppose it just reminded me how lucky I’ve been to have these amazing parents in my life. I’ve seen parents that put such extreme pressure on their children — an overflowing plate of busyness: Sports, lessons, extracurricular activities five days a week. It’s all…just…so…much. Sure, it’s important to guide your children and help them reach their full potential, but there’s a line. I’m thankful that my parents seemed to instinctively know exactly where that line was and never crossed it.
Words are powerful. And sometimes, the simplest words are the most powerful and the most encouraging. Their impact can be life-changing — a heck of a lot more life-changing than that South American cuisine cooking class.
What do you think, friends? Give someone a few encouraging words today. I think you’ll be surprised at the impact they make… xoxo
[Photos by Charles Gullung]