One of the most important but not appreciated so well (to the extent it deserves) relationships in a human’s life is her/his relationship with “mother”. Because, the role of a mother in someone’s life is often taken for granted, until one live through the teenage or becomes an adult, or even more, until one becomes a parent herself or himself. And I was not an exemption in that case. It took me 21 years to understand that whatever my mother was telling was the lessons that I cannot learn even in the Ivy League Universities or anywhere else in the world.
My mother was brought up in a small village and studied till tenth grade, yet she had the wisdom of a person who could handle any tough situations that life can throw at her. Here are some of the wisdoms that she passed on to my siblings, and me all these years:
Always have good (or positive) thoughts, and you will see it resonating: Never think negative or utter negative words. My mom was very strict about this and taught us that no one utter negative things at the home. Because, she strongly believed that good vibes will eventually pave way for good things to happen. But I think its normal to feel optimistic externally but have some teeny tiny internal fears. So I found it difficult initially, to develop this habit, but I bet you, it does wonders, once you get hold of it.
When you are struggling in life, think of people who might be suffering worse than you: From the time I realised the power of these words, this is my mantra for motivating myself, during my most struggling and stressful times. If we think of this mantra at difficult situations, we can realise that – we should not think “why me?” but to feel grateful for not being in a situation worse than this. Moreover, this will give the encouragement to gather your strength and find solutions. Most importantly, when you know the value of it, you can pass on the strength to someone else (a friend or even a stranger) and who knows, you might be making a strong impact in her or his life.
Standing shoulder to shoulder is a much bigger help than offering money to help: She often say two things when it comes to encouraging us to offer help – One is, you need not wait until you become rich, in order to help someone with money and the other is, offering money alone is not help but standing shoulder to shoulder is a much bigger help. And I believe so too. It is most important to listen to someone when they are struggling, for the most part that will alleviate the pain. And mental strength will take you to greater heights.
It doesn’t matter how loving or well earning your partner is, learn or be able to stand on your own: As a woman from India, where standing on her own legs (even when the situation in life demands it) is not considered a norm for a girl, my mom has always insisted me and my sister to stand on our own. And she goes on to say that it does not matter how loving or well earning your partner is (it is very common in parts of India, for people to think that there is no need for a woman to pursue a job if the partner is having a good income), it is important for a woman to be able (means, being a well educated woman) to do so, because you never know what life will throw at you.
Education is wealth that no one can destroy:There is a famous quote by a Tamil poet and philosopher called Thiruvalluvar, which says “Learning is wealth that none could destroy; nothing else gives genuine joy”. My mother is a strong believer of these words and she encouraged us to learn more and more, also to share the knowledge to others, for that will become a double joy.
As mentioned earlier, I did not realise the importance that lie in her words, to the fullest, until I was 21. She always wanted my siblings and me, especially her girl children to be well educated. It was one of her constant urge for her children to be well educated, which made me to pursue higher studies, even after marriage and my child.
The life lessons that my mother has taught me have been (and will be) like a lighthouse when I am in the mid of a crisis and they have been like the shining or rising sunlight during the course of my activities. And I am grateful to my mother for teaching all the above-mentioned wisdoms to me; especially the importance of education in life and, not to whine when facing struggles, rather to see the positive side of what life poses to you. Now I myself being a mother of an eight-year-old son, I am eager to pass on these wisdoms that my mom has taught me, to my son.
Shanmugapriya PERIYANNAN is a doctoral student; doing a joint PhD (on Materials Science and Chemistry) in Germany and Belgium; also mother of a 7 year old kid. Exploring the path of writing by trying to be contributor @Thrive Global. I am currently living in Belgium and, my husband and son are living in India.
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“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”
- MARCUS AURELIUS