Monday, August 30, 2010

Mom's Words

I'm remembering things that my Mom used to teach me. Call it reminiscing, call it sappy, but her words and upbringing brought warmth to me even when I'm remembering them. And of course, I'm translating them as I go; she'd have told me in Mandarin or Indonesian. So here are the 50 things that I can think of:

1. Women have our own appeal, use it wisely, and don't abuse it.
2. It's better to find a husband who loves you more than you love him.
3. When you pick something up from the floor or when you wear your shoes, always bend your knees and not your waist, so you're not showing off your butt to others.
4. Never forget someone's kindness, and never remember your own kind acts.
5. When you give respect and toast your cup, always place your cup lower than the other person's. And never, ever, play with your chopsticks or stick it in the rice bowl.
6. Don't make noise when you eat, always finish your food, but if you can't eat something, don't refuse the offer, just put it aside.
7. When someone criticizes you, even when they are wrong, just listen until s/he finishes, then you clear it up when s/he is more calm.
8. Always give up your best for the guests.
9. You don't need to learn to live a wealthy lifestyle, but you need to learn to live a poor lifestyle.
10. Never say bad things about others.
11. 大人不记小人过 - I can't translate this, it's something like, be widehearted to those who hurt you.
12. Try not to include money in your friendship, money can ruin your best friendship.
13. Always wait till the other side hang up the phone before you hang up.
14. Don't start eating until your guest, or the eldest at the table, starts.
15. You have to adapt to the society, not vice versa.
16. In the end, only your family will be with you.
17. When you laugh, do it in front of people, but if you want to cry, do it where nobody sees you.
18. Buy the best thing, rather than hundreds of mediocre things.
19. 天下不会掉馅饼 - something like, there is nothing free in this world, you have to work for it.
20. 提得上就要放得下 - something like, if you can start something, you need to be able to let it go.
21. When people ask you something that you are not comfortable answering, smile.
22. Always take off your shoes when entering anyone's house.
23. Clean up after yourself when a friend invites you to dinner.
24. Patience is virtue, learn to swallow your anger.
25. Learn to endure, and take sufferings with a grain of salt.
26. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
27. Always have breakfast - if you have to miss it, drink a glass of water, or milk.
28. In the end, life is a lonely road; don't be afraid of that power you have in making decisions.
29. Always respond when someone calls you, even if you are in the middle of something.
30. Always pay for your own food when you go out with a boy, even when he offers to pay (to boys: always pay for the girl(s)' food when you go out with her/them, especially when you are the only boy in the crowd)
31. Treat everyone equally, your enemy today may become your friend tomorrow, and vice versa.
32. To spend money, you have to earn them first. Spend 30% of what you earn and save the rest.
33. Money doesn't come from saving, you need to spend in order to earn.
34. Don't be calculative with your friends over small amount of money, but there is a difference between what is borrowed and needs to be returned, and what is insignificant.
35. Your confidence should not come from how wealthy you are, and other status-related factors; it is in your accomplishments, values, and principles in life.
36. Don't be afraid of the challenges ahead, your family will be with you.
37. Girls need to be modest; carry yourself well. Always have a smile on your face, even when you are ill.
38. A tainted reputation is hard to clean up.
39. Marry someone who can complement your talents, and vice versa.
40. When someone says you aren't good enough to achieve something, do it to prove him/her and yourself otherwise.
41. Give yourself to your husband and in-laws because you have become their daughter; your biological family will always be here, while they may require more from you.
42. You only have one brother, take care of each other because he's all you have.
43. Don't be stubborn and let your intelligence get the better of you. Be humble and hide your intelligence, it's better when people think that you have no skills, so you don't become a threat.
44. Do everything backstage, people in the limelight gets the kick first.
45. It's best to be wealthy and nameless; you get to enjoy while not getting any threats.
46. Remember to brush your teeth every night.
47. If you have done your best, that's good enough.
48. Never give up and keep trying, but know when to stop.
49. Don't be a sore loser. Congratulate the winner, and keep polishing your skills.
50. You don't have to try to be the best, you already are in my eyes.

Obviously, I haven't been very good on many of the things on the list. Oh, Mom, I love you :)

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