What is the most important lesson you learned as a child, and who taught it to you?

The most important lesson I learned as a child was from my mother. It was to be kind to everyone. My mother is the most generous person I know. When I was a child I watched her give to everyone. If there was something you needed and she had it, she would offer it to you. It didn’t matter if you were a good friend, or a stranger. If there was a need, she would find a way to help the person in question.

I remember little things, like I would borrow a shirt from her and attempt to return it. She would tell me to keep it. That’s just the way she was.

It wasn’t just with tangible items. My mom is someone who bends over backwards to understand another person’s point of view. She will examine another person’s actions and behaviors and put herself in their place in order to be more empathetic towards them.

I have learned to employ this technique from my mom. I use it with my children, I use it in the classroom when I am teaching, and I use it with my interactions with friends and business connections.

Think of others before yourself. That is what my mom taught me. She still behaves this way today. It is an admirable quality. Let’s bring humility back.