I’m not sure I can add much to what Nathalie and Beth-Anne have already so eloquently said on this topic. I will let the other mothers’ writing stand on its own, but I share the sentiment already expressed that entitlement is an unattractive quality, in both children and adults.
I want my boys to grow up to be modest, unassuming, deservedly proud of what they accomplish, without any inflated sense of self-worth, confident but not cocky, and above all, I want them to be grateful for the opportunities they’ve had, and to show that gratitude appropriately. And because I was raised to show appropriate gratitude, I have to give the credit to those people whose words helped shape me, and whose values I want to pass along to my own children:
From my grandfather: “Don’t show off who you are.” In other words, be modest. Don’t make a spectacle of yourself. You gain nothing from it. (Clearly, my grandfather could not have anticipated You Tube, but I digress…)
From my mom’s cousin: “When you’re famous, don’t forget who you come from”, an admonition that also took the form of, “Don’t think we’ll be afraid to knock you down a peg if you get too high and mighty”. I may not be famous, but when I’ve caught myself thinking too highly of myself, these words come back to me.
From my Dad: “You’ve got to make luck to be lucky”. What people think of as “luck” is really the pay-off of hard work.
From my Mom: “You can do anything you set your mind to! Well….except ballet. Honestly Marcelle, you’re not going to be a prima ballerina. You’re too tall and your feet don’t arch. You don’t have to like it, but it’s the way it is. You DO need to practice your violin ….” Not everyone can do everything. Find what you CAN do, and do it the best you can.
Is there a home-grown truth about how to be that you carry with you? I often wonder which of my frequent platitudes will stay with my own children long after I’m no longer there to utter them. Whatever it is, I hope they take it to heart.