What is one of the most important life lessons you have learned? Who taught it to you? How/why is it still important to you?
I have a couple of life lessons and they've changed emphasis as I've travelled through life :-)
My godmother taught me "Don't put it down, put it away". I'm sure my tidiness and need for order stems from her, whether that's a clear and clean kitchen, an empty desk and in-tray, or an organised hard drive. I feel uneasy when things aren't "in order" and I often hear a plaintive cry from Mr.ncot "Where's X?" to which I reply "I've tidied it away." The best example was when he couldn't find the allan keys for our IKEA furniture. I calmly told him they were filed away under IKEA in our filing cabinet - it was obvious to me :-)
As a child I picked up the lesson "Work hard, be good, obey the rules regardless". I'm sure that's partly to do wtih being the first born and constantly seeking approval from my parents. I associate approval with doing the right thing and not challenging the status quo. And sometimes I think that my deeply engrained protestant work ethic really holds me back. You know - "if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well". I get stuck in a sort of perfectionist hell - unable to admit there's a problem and unable to free myself and move forward.
I think the lessons I've learnt for myself as an adult (and I know it sounds corny, but I don't care) is "All you need is love". And by love I mean the hard work of creating relationships - with my husband, my family and my friends. The ambiguity and difficulty of human relationships. The work we put into knowing and loving and forgiving somebody. And the love we show to ourselves - the acceptance and gratitude of our strengths and the recognition of our weaknesses. Love means hard work, hanging in there, being patient, sharing belly laughs, sharing tears, hugging our loved ones. And with love we become fully human.