I was raised with boundaries, and if in my childish folly I pushed them, the rod of correction drove it far from me. Who knew the writers of the Bible could be so spot on?
I was taught that respect was given before it was earned, and that politeness is never out of season. I was taught that a job worth doing was worth doing right the first time, and that the world doesn't owe me a favor. I was raised to say ma'am and sir, so if that offends you I'm sorry, but that's how I roll.
I was raised to believe that chivalry isn't dead, and to accept it gratefully. I was taught to believe the best in other people, and to always respect other people's time. I was taught that my word is my bond, and that what I do and say reflects on my family, so to choose wisely.
I was taught that love is not conditional, and that kindness and a good work ethic are part of a good person's fabric. I was taught that if I said I'd be there at 5, to be there a little early, and that if I was going to be late I'd better make it a rare thing and I'd better call and let somebody know or have a good reason why I didn't.
I was taught to appreciate the little things in life and not to sass my parents, even when I didn't think they were on the right track because they were older than me and had been around the block a few times.
And as I've gotten older, I have come to appreciate all these things all the more as I watch other people selfishly and thoughtlessly run roughshod over other people with seemingly no concern whatsoever.
I will always be grateful that my parents didn't have to worry about getting arrested for spanking a child because I'm far from perfect but I love and respect and serve people from the depths of my heart whether they love and respect and serve me in return--and sadly they often do not.
I am glad I am the woman I am today, imperfect but striving to improve and glad for the chance to live in this big wide world for a time. And when God calls me home, I hope He is as happy to see me as I will be glad to see Him, and to at last be reunited with my parents who thought enough of me to do the hard thing and choose parenting over the buddy system.
I thank God that I was RAISED, not lowered, believed in and not ignored, celebrated and not simply tolerated.
I can only pray that I am blessed to be able to pass along a legacy of parenting that will keep producing good people who are grateful for the way they were raised.
Because the world is a better place when parents really are parents. It lets kids be kids who have a fighting chance of growing up to be good parents themselves.
I am eternally grateful for the way I was raised.