It's a few more days before Mother's Day (May 12). As I watch my mom go through her daily routine, I realized how fast time flies. So fast, that I also realized I am now a mother myself. In my 30++ years of being with my mom, and the 7 years of being a mom myself, there are 3 character-defining lessons which I learned from my own mother:
Fight fair. My mom and I has always been the feisty-in-the-right-sense type. As an old local saying would go, "kapag may katwiran, ipaglaban mo..." (i.e. If the reason is valid, fight for it). Our school had raised us that way. We would not usually take things sitting down, especially if the fault was obvious. But despite her being feisty, my mom would always remind us not to take advantage of the situation, even if we had the upper hand. Fight fair and be fair. Listen to both sides of the story before passing judgment. Think of what the other person will feel if you were in his/her shoes.
Respect the differences among people. People have different views and opinions on different things. If a person's opinions are different from the mainstream, it does not necessarily mean he/she is wrong. Perhaps, he/she is just dancing to a different beat. There were instances at home wherein the family is divided over a certain topic. Being the conventional thinker and the head of the family, my father usually speaks his mind and his views are usually the traditional conservative response. My mother, on the other hand, is the non-conventional thinker, the "challenger" to my father's POV, saying that there could be other circumstances that led to the particular situation or issue to happen. The admirable thing about this is, she is able to do so in a manner in which mutual respect and open-mindedness is still maintained.
Live without any regrets. At the end of the day, it all boils down to what makes you genuinely happy. That kind of "genuinely happy" wherein you don't mind what people think of you, or what the norms or the standards are, as long as you find happiness in it, and that you did not step on other people's feet just to reach that happiness. When I decided to take a shift in my career, I knew my family and some of my friends would think different of it. My mom simply asked me 2 questions, "Magiging masaya ka ba sa gagawin mo?" (i.e. Will you be happy with your decision?) and "May matatapakan ka ba sa magiging desisyon mo?" (i.e. Will you be stepping on someone's foot with your decision?). I answered the first question on the affirmative, while the second on the negative. I explained what my priorities are which made me decide on the career shift. After she heard my answers and my explanation, she just nodded, as if saying that I have her blessing. No more further questions asked.
To my everdearest Mama (a.k.a. Mudra, Mudrakels, Mamuuu), I now understand how difficult yet fulfilling a mother's role is. For all it's worth, I would like to thank you for all your sacrifices and for the wisdom that you've imparted to us your kids, most especially to me, your daughter who's now a mom myself. I hope that when my own son grows up, I too, can raise him the way you raised us. Nobody's perfect, but I guess you did an awesome job as a mom. Whatever values I possess now, I definitely learned it from you. I will always cherish all these and will always love you. Advance Happy Mother's Day! :)