This weekend, Mr. Ambitious (aka. my husband) and I watched Jamie’s Oliver’s new show, Food Revolution (great show, by the way!). Although the show depicts a lot of disturbing scenes about junk food and obesity, I found one of the most alarming scenes was one in which Jamie visits a grade one classroom and quizzes the kids on their knowledge of common vegetables. These kids had NO IDEA what a tomato or a potato or a carrot was – unbelievable! Got me thinking about my childhood and the things my parents taught me when I was young. I’m pretty confident that I could have identified a tomato at age 6, but maybe every now and then, we need a reminder of some of the things we learned when we were young, especially since those lessons can easily be applied to our grown-up lives:
Eat Your Veggies – this one’s for you, mom. To this day, I still hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head as I plan each dinner. But that’s a good thing ‘cause it ensures I’m always eating my veggies! I can also recall her saying “Don’t load up on crap before dinner” which I think is also good advice for life in general. Make sure you get a decent share of the good things in life (like veggies) ‘cause they’ll keep you healthy and strong. And don’t load up on crap. Like fast food and junk food, things that are bad for you might taste good at first, but eventually they kinda sit like a lump in your stomach and no one likes that.
Don’t Tattle-Tale – I don’t know about you, but a lot of the time when I tattle-taled as a child, it was mostly so I could pass the blame on to someone else. “Mom! Stinky hit me!” was usually a cover-up for, “I was a shithead to Stinky so she took a swack at me but I’m telling you before she does so it sounds like I did nothing wrong!” Own up to your own bonehead moves; don’t blame them on someone else. It’s whiny and annoying.
Your Face will Stick Like That – now, I don’t necessarily believe that if I cross my eyes 24/7, that they will eventually stick like that (if you’ve tried it and it worked, please tell me!). However, I do believe if you keep doing something the same way again and again, chances are you’re always going to do things the same way. Don’t be afraid to uncross your eyes every now and then and try things a different way.
Don’t Take Candy from Strangers – as kids, this one was ingrained into us. But do we pay attention to it now? If someone offers you something that seems a little too good to be true, it’s probably smart to be wary.
Don’t Forget to Flush – For the sake of not crossing over into potty-talk, I’m going to avoid delving into this one too deeply but I will just say this: when you’re getting rid of waste in your life, get RID of it! Don’t leave it floating around for someone else to deal with.
Hold Hands When You Cross the Street – it’s always good to have someone by your side, holding your hand when you’re about to embark on something dangerous or new. Having an extra set of eyes and ears to watch out for speeding cars can only benefit you.
Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees – earning a living is hard work! You can’t be afraid to put in the time and energy. It’s very rare that money comes easily to us – even most millionaires will tell you they had to put some blood, sweat and tears into making their fortune.
Don’t Run with Scissors – I never understood why running with scissors was a bad idea. Isn’t it really the falling and stabbing yourself with scissors that’s the real issue? I guess when you’re a klutz like me, they’re kinda one and the same. But this one applies to grown-up life too, except maybe instead of scissors it’s kitchen knives or driving fast or swimming during a lightning storm. Don’t tempt fate. You’ve got one life on this earth (as far as I know) so be smart and make it worth it.
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all - This one’s self-explanatory folks. Be kind to eachother. There’s always a nice way to say things, even if it’s criticism. Being nice will always pay off in the end .
What did your parents teach you when you were young? Are there other childhood lessons that have value in adulthood? Did you know the difference between a tomato and a carrot in grade 1?