Thursday, September 22, 2016

5 Things I want my children to know (and I hope I already told them)

"If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough." 

Meister Eckhart

My children, did you know that sometimes when I lie down in my bed after a long evening of sport practices, meal preparation and chores, I fervently thank God for my bed? I do. A bed is such an ordinary thing, but I know how lucky I am to have a warm, firm, comfortable place of my own to rest my body.

I also regularly thank God for all the fruits and vegetables we can afford, for your Papa's job, for our little dog Taz and the joy he brings, and for our small, comfy, air-conditioned home here in Arizona.

Don't forget to be grateful for the little, ordinary things that we think are our right to have. Not everyone has them. That lesson is crucial, and I believe these ones are, too:

Respect the Working Man

Your Paca told his children this when we were little, and you need to practice it, too. To every man and woman who works hard for a living, especially those who do hard, menial tasks or serve others' needs for long hours, show your respect and appreciation. Never take advantage by giving them more work out of carelessness or your own laziness. Return that shopping cart! Put things back on the shelf after you're done examining them. The steady Joes and Janes of this world keep it pumping, God bless them.

Another Reason Not to Do Drugs

Whether it is their intention or not, every person who does illicit drugs supports a chain of absolute evil, including murder and violence against women, children and the poor/desperate. Remember that if some happy pill or powder is ever proffered by a "cool" friend. It's not just that these terrible chemical substances are toxic for you and highly addictive, robbing you of control in your own life; they are cancerous in society at all levels of their supply chain. 

Entertainment Often Is Not Mere Entertainment

Be careful what you expose yourself to in the name of a good time. This includes movies, video games, TV, social media, and of course, real world performances.

Not Every Day Should Be a Feast

This, if you keep it in mind, will serve you well your whole life. You will be healthier physically, financially, emotionally and, most importantly, spiritually. You will be more likely to remember that some in this world don't have a bed, clean water, or regular food, and thus, being grateful for what you have, you will share. 

I suppose you could say all things in moderation, but people have begun to ignore that phrase; the word moderation has sort of lost its meaning in today's first-world society, just like the words honor and valor.

Here's what I mean, specifically:

Learn to recognize a real need. Treats are called treats for a reason. They're not necessary; they're an extravagance. If you have them every day or a few times a day, they are no longer treats. This likely means you're spoiled, dependent and have lost some perspective on what really matters. (That is a boat I am trying constantly to get out of!) Don't eat out every day. Save that expensive cup of coffee for rare occasions; it'll taste better. Don't live your life searching for the best brands to display on your person, only stay in luxury hotels or always carry the "next" smartphone. Use things until they have lost their usefulness before throwing them out.

Let Thanksgiving and Christmas in their abundance and oodles of candy on Halloween be something really special still.

And always read about what is going on in the world - real, well-written articles, I mean. You will constantly bear in mind how lucky you are and this will help you know exactly where your resources are greatly needed to lift up your fellow (wo)man.


Your mama believes in the power of a simple smile to spread joy and love in this world.

As it turns out, so did Mother Teresa. 


  1. It all comes down to simple, but very complicated things, doesn't it?! We talk a lot about treats and keeping things for special occasions too. A few weeks back, we taught our daughter to look at the serving size on the back of a package. NOW, that was an eye opener for her! Good advice here.

    1. Simple but complicated is right. I'm still working at living better by my own and others' words. As long as we keep trying and fighting to be mindful of our decisions and their impact, we're learning and growing, I believe.

  2. Replies
    1. You taught me a lot, Papa, and I'm passing it on to your grandkids.

  3. Great post, Hillary! I printed it out so I could see it as a regular reminder. :) Camille

    1. That is a great compliment, Camille!


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