Teach Children Respect for People and/or their Mentors;Those Who Help to Mold Them

respect When my child was young, I remember discussing with him the importance of each and every person who will move in and out of his life. There was one particular period in his young childhood, during which he was moving from an elementary school located in a  highly educated population, to a more centralized  middle school. The greatest privilege and life lesson linked to that move, was to be in a more “across the board” mixed population.

There was nothing wrong with the school  he was moving from as he had made many great friends, had a great education as well as was surrounded with support groups. The one thing missing; a mix of the real world. My son (even though young and not yet possessing the more mature mental tools to totally grasp the concept) and I discussed the positive rewards ahead. It was a rare moment in teaching of a child that, there are no givens, no for sures or guarantees that life will always be as you know it but to always reach out, grasp it and make the best of it.

We spent time driving to the new school, through neighborhoods not familiar to him and discussing that not everyone lives in a big house, has 2 cars, the latest this and that and to be aware that these issues aren’t what’s important in life, but rather, the people you meet. Reminded him that it might just be the least person he would ever suspect that might some day save his life or vice versa. We were very blessed in the paths our lives had taken thus far, even though not handed to us but earned through hard work/efforts. In summary, my son went on and eventually graduated from that school where he flourished and did well.

Moving forward a decade, my son was recently humbled to be hired at a high level management job for a large agricultural firm. The last several years  had been spent driving several hours back and forth to work daily, shift work with long hours but, most important, the privilege of managing several hundred people who made him what he is today. He took great care of his team, keeping his promises and/or following up on whatever it was they requested of him.  He taught them to respect their jobs, work hard, help one another and they taught him how to be a good  manager. He was their manager, but more important, a part of a team. As he summed his experience up; he was blessed with the best group of people he could have ever worked with–his mentors as well as his friends.

He and I have exchanged a few heartfelt conversations since all these changes occurred and I’m 100% sure he will never forget his first job out of college. These individuals he was privileged to work with would give him the shirt off his back and he would do the same for any of them. They were a real team he treated with great respect and that, they also gave him. There is nothing like working on a “real team”; one of life’s best examples of treating others the way you want to be treated–no matter what. The most important thing for me, his mom, was that the efforts put out to teach him, were heard. So, parents, keep putting out the efforts to teach your children, even if they act like you’re from another planet. Trust me, they are listening!

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