Lessons Learned from my Parents

May 7 2018, 2:28pm

mother lifting a child up

With Mother's Day and Father's Day coming up soon in the US, I thought I would take this time to reflect on things I learned from my parents. It took a while to come up with this brain dump as there are so many things I take for granted knowing. Some of these lessons learned are trivial but many more are profound and have played a large role in shaping who I am today.

Here goes nothing.

Respect Your Elders

Growing up, I learned to respect the knowledge and experiences that older people had. Even if they were just a few months older, this deference has allowed me to become more compassionate and spurred my willingness to go out of my way to learn new things from new people.

Try What You Think You Want to Learn

I was never pressured into learning the piano, learning a language, or even doing a sport. Though in retrospect, I think this would have been a good thing to have experienced, this alternative way of parenting taught me to follow my passions and experience new things for the sake of learning what I do and do not like.

You'll Never be Alone

Family has always been a big part of my life. I spent the lion's share of my time with both my immediate and extended family growing up—so much so that I learned even though I may be physically alone, I would always have someone there to back me up. This sentiment has strengthened through the various friendships I now have, many whom I consider family even.

Be Okay with What You Have

Growing up with siblings, except for the latest gaming console, we didn't have the latest or flashiest things. Having to spend more time with things I possessed, I learned to become more than okay with what I had. I still remember spending endless hours trying to make my theme park the best in Rollercoaster Tycoon or trying multiple campaigns over and over again in Rise of Empires.

Find the Fun in Little Things

Speaking of being okay with what I had, I learned pretty early on to find fun in small things. For instance, camping in Mammoth and spending hours, while fishing, searching for loose lures and unique flowers, fishing was not boring to me. It was an opportunity to explore, learn, and find beauty in the little things.

Care About Others

Having siblings and cousins, I learned to care about them and others. This sense of caring extended as I took on more leadership roles in middle school and high school.

Knowledge is Power

In lieu of playing an instrument or sport, I learned to appreciate knowledge and learning as a powerful means of self-improvement. I became curious about most things, asked a bunch of questions, reflected and used this insight to further improve outcomes.

Laughter Makes Things Better

Our family makes jokes and laughs a lot. This led me to believe that laughter can help make even the smallest of problems a little better. A little social lubricant that can go a long way in getting people to work together towards a common goal.

Show Thank You

I never really picked up on this concept until after Cal. Apparently, there is a strong sense of showing thank you in my family. If you've done something for me, I probably will show thank you more than just saying it. Actions matter to me more than mere words in this instance.

Time Spent with Others Matters, a Lot

Sometimes, going out of your way to spend time with someone is the best way to show you care.

And just for fun...

Don't Chew with Your Mouth Open

Thanks Dad.

Don't Write in Books

Thanks Mom. This somehow still haunts me, when I'm told to make notes in guides.

As you can see there are lots of lessons learned (though I'm sure there are many more that I'm forgetting.

I'm so proud to have loving parents who have supported me in the various decisions I've made, allowing me to become the person I am today. Love you Mom and Dad!

What's the biggest lesson you've learned from your parents?