Thursday, June 7, 2012

100 things: numbers 80-71

Continuing on with the 100 things I want to teach you before you fly the coop!  Here are numbers 80-71:

80. Comfort others:  We live in a world where the art of truly offering comfort to others during times of hardship is lost on many of us.  Most people, including your mama at times, would rather just pretend like something isn't bothering them or bothering those around them.  It's much easier to go through life pretending like your whole world isn't imploding around you because hardship makes people nervous, embarrassed, anxious, and vulnerable. Well, gosh... we all have hardship from time to time, right?  We all have times where it would be great if someone could just come up to us and let us know that things are going to be okay and that they're there for us if we need them.  I want you to be that person because I desperately want you to have empathy and compassion for your fellow human.  Learn to recognize when loved ones are hurting and take the initiative to help them through it if they'll allow you to do so.  You can figure out the way you offer comfort (listening, making food, helping with tangible things, etc.) but make the effort to do it.  You will be rewarded in more ways than you can imagine.

79. Support yourself: This is a BROAD topic but a very good way of encompassing just about everything I want you to learn.  You need to be able to make it through life with just the sweat of your own brow because you never ever know if you can rely on someone else to do these things for you.  Learn how to pay your bills, balance your work and social obligations, fix things that break, get out of sticky situations... basically, just learn how to BE!  College roommates are good for teaching you how to live with other people, but I also want you to spend some time living on your own so you can learn how to live with YOU!  Don't be one of those people who needs other people to survive.  You just need yourself.  Everything else is frosting on the cake, trust me.

78. Negotiate: How did your mama manage to knock $1,000 off of the price of her 2001 Kia Rio back in 2003 when she bought it?  She complained about the color when she knew it was a difficult color and they had NO other 2001 Kia Rios in stock.  Also, it was purchased at the end of the month when most dealerships are frantically trying to reduce their tax burden.  Cha-ching!  When you want to make a big purchase you need to do some research.  Learn everything you can about your purchase and then figure out when the best time to make that purchase will be before striking.  Patience, willingness to make concessions, and an obvious knowledge of what you're doing will make you a force to reckon with!  Don't be afraid to ask for more (or demand a lower price) if you think you can do it.  The worst they could do is say no to you.  

77. Distinguish needs from wants: We all have needs.  We all have wants.  Sometimes these things happen to be the same thing.  Often, they are TOTALLY different!  We need shelter, clothes, food, and drink.  We want toys, entertainment, the latest fashion, and huge houses.  Learn the subtle differences between what you TRULY need to survive and the things you can put off until you're more financially stable.  For example, your mama really WANTS a new front-loading high-efficiency washer and dryer but all she really needs is a washer and dryer that work, which she already has.  Sure, I'm sad about it and I daydream about beautiful shiny new appliances, but we have other needs that come before my wants right now.  Until the current washer and dryer kick the bucket, we will use what we have and be happy with it because there are people out there who are happy with less than what we have so we should be happy with the abundance we've had the opportunity to afford.

76. Manage stress: The key to managing stress is to know thyself.  Learn the little cues your body gives off to let you know that things are getting a bit too much for you and figure out ways to reduce the impact of that stress on your life.  You could take yoga, you could get a massage, you could start saying "no" to things that stress you out, you could do anything that brings you peace of mind.  They key is NOT to let stress ruin your life or your interactions with others in your life.  You have the right to control your reactions to things.  You do NOT have the right to let the stresses in your life bleed over into the lives of others.  Your stresses belong to you and if others empathize and wish to listen or help, that is a kindness they are offering you.  Being snappy with the people you love, who love you and are just trying to help, makes you a bully.  Be in control of yourself and learn to manage things before they get to that point.

75. Accept others for their differences:  You are a beautiful and wonderful human being.  You are full of ideas, thoughts, opinions, hopes and dreams.  You are an individual in everything you do.  You are like no one else and no one else is like you.  That being said, you are not necessarily "right" and they are not necessarily "wrong" if your paths in life do not run parallel to each other.  Differences are beautiful and they are a way for all of us to learn about things that we would never have experienced otherwise.  I have already told you that I won't be disappointed in you unless you fail to try, but I will be disappointed in you if you go through life dismissing the amazing differences, the different cultures, we all hold dear.  I want you to have friends of all races, religions, philosophies, and passions.  Life is boring when we hang out with people who are carbon copies of ourselves.  Broaden your world.  Expand your circle of influence. LEARN!  Stand up for others when you see kids bullying them for being different.  Love and respect those around you for having the courage to be themselves in situations where they may be the only one like them.  You will be blessed for knowing and respecting people from all walks of life.

74. Hold a baby:  I'll be honest with you, I had barely ever been around an infant prior to your birth.  I had MAYBE one or two experiences holding a newborn and when you were born I was terrified of holding you if you weren't wrapped up like a baby burrito!  Dressing you, undressing you... so scary!  Your little head lolled around so much that I was sure I was hurting you!  I really want more for you than that.  I want you to be comfortable around babies so if you choose to have kids you will be a lot more confident than I was.  Expect to do some babysitting in high school!

73. Ask questions:  You will never know the right answers unless you learn to ask the right questions.  Asking questions is VITAL to getting all of the information you need in any situation.  Don't be afraid to seek information.  Sadly, we live in a world that is FULL of information, but people are often encouraged not to delve deeper in their pursuit of information.  We also live in a world full of privacy statements, user agreements, and various other ways you can easily sign away your rights simply because they are written in a way that is nearly impossible for anyone other than a lawyer to understand.  Don't understand something?  Ask someone who does.  Don't know what you're getting yourself into?  Find out before getting yourself into it!  Something doesn't feel quite right?  Ask others what they think (or come ask your mama!)  No one ever asked too many questions about something if they were trying to make a big decision!

72. Speak a second language, especially Spanish: This is one of those "do as I say, not as I do" sort of things because I am not fluent in any other language, myself.  However, I understand the importance of learning to communicate with others and think learning other languages is extremely beneficial.  I have dabbled in a few languages and know a few things in several languages, but actually becoming fluent in a language other than English is a dream I hope to achieve someday.  I would encourage you to take language classes in school as soon as they're offered.  I think it is ridiculous that Americans appear to be against learning other languages.  All over the world it is assumed you will learn your language as well as at least one other one.  The xenophobic nature of Americans when it comes to other languages baffles me.  It also makes us look like idiots.  You can resist that by opening yourself up to another language and the culture which surrounds that language.

71. Lead: Not only do you need to know how to lead when the situation calls for it, you need to learn when to follow when you're not the right person to lead.  Have the wisdom to know when you're the right person for the job and when you're NOT.  Leaders have a lot of responsibility to the people who follow them.  To be a successful leader you must not shirk those responsibilities NOR should you undervalue the people who are looking to you to lead them in the right direction.  Leaders stay leaders because they actually serve well those who appear to serve them.  Leaders who do not serve their followers do not tend to stay leaders. In time you will learn that power structures only work if everyone works together toward a common goal and work for the betterment of all involved instead of just the leader.  

Stay tuned for more!