As I reflect this holiday season, I thought fondly of the best lessons my parents provided for us growing up. We had very little, but we learned so much around the dinner table.
1. What we have, we share. We are all equal, nobody is more equal than anyone else, no matter how much better, older, stronger they are. Whether our offerings are meager or extravagant, we share and take turns.
2. Try something new and different regularly. Everyone’s different, and trying new things, hearing different perspectives needs to a richer experience overall.
3. Be creative when you don’t have a lot of options. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn, if you are open to it.
4. Share the good and the bad about the day. This too shall pass, whether it’s good or it’s bad. And sharing it with your friends and family will facilitate growth, strength and learning.
5. Support each other through the ups and downs, not just with words and praise, but with actions. What we have is each other, and being there for each other makes us all stronger. Be there in mind, body and spirit so that they feel valued and supported and successful, no matter what they face.
6. Say something funny or warm or supportive about others. Lightness and humor and warmth adds spice to relationships and life. So do or say something that will bring that feeling to others, especially when you don’t feel like doing so.
7. Learn something from someone before you leave the table. Everyone has something to share, everyone is brilliant in his or her own way. Being open to learning from others who don’t think like you broadens your perspective and your horizon.
8. Make room for anyone or everyone who wants to or needs to join us. Welcome others who want to join or who are in need. The more there is, the merrier it will be, the more of everything there is for everyone.
9. Choose healthy options and portions. Live life in moderation, but with gusto.
10. Enjoy the food, enjoy the company. Life is a journey – enjoy the experience and the view.
I am proud of the values that my siblings and I live by, and applaud my parents for instilling them in us, and encouraging us all to be the best people we can be.