I have kids of the four-legged variety – a dog and a horse. Neither care about Mom’s Mom-isms but the more time I spend with them the more I realize they have life figured out way better than I do. Not having two-leggers running around the house has not stopped me from having an opinion on how some others have been raised their offspring. After some of the thoughtless, hurtful, and shameful crap I’ve seen posted by kids (if your under 25 you’re a kid to me…don’t get snarky…it will happen to you too) and adults alike I think perhaps everyone should hear Mom’s Mom-isms:
Two wrongs don’t make a right…
I hated hearing this as a kid, it completely deflated the best excuse I had for fighting with my sister: “BUT SHE STARTED IT!” Two wrongs don’t make a right…it’s not an easy one to follow. Our go-to response when someone wrongs us is to “get back” at them. What if we put as much effort into getting along as we did into thinking up good comebacks or tearing people down who don’t fit into our world view? The truth is revenge in any form doesn’t change a behavior. Sure, you may get a little gratification from hurting someone as they’ve hurt you but, well…two wrongs don’t make a right.
…but three rights make a left
OK, this second part is technically a funny-ha-ha statement that goes oh so well with the previous Mom-ism but it does bring me to another important lesson. Mom taught me to make left turns onto busy roads where there is a light to stop the traffic. This is really good advice. Take a couple seconds to go down to the exit or the intersection with the light, avoid an accident, save a life, make mom happy!
You is plural!
This was usually preceded by me or my sister saying: “It wasn’t just me! She started it! She did it too!” or some other variation of the blame-game. You is plural is a reminder that you can mean me or it can mean me and my sister or it can mean all of you reading this or it can me that whole group of people over there watching you through the window (as in “Hey You! Stop watching me!). The takeaway? Calm down, not everything is about you (that is singular you in this case).
You can’t make blanket statements.
At first this may seem to go against the You is plural but it doesn’t really. Where “you is plural” is telling us the world doesn’t revolve around your own little self-centered universe, “you can’t make blanket statements is a warning to not generalize. Of course, technically you can make a blanket statement but you come off sounding like an uneducated jackass who has never seen anything outside your own world. This is especially good advice in light of current events…let me give you a few examples to think about: all cops are not corrupt, all Muslims are not terrorists, all Christians are not like the Westboro Baptist Church, all white people aren’t racist, all black people aren’t criminals… Get the picture? Remember how the world doesn’t revolve around you? Well, you also can’t view the lives of others through the lens of your own experience.
It takes two to have an argument!
Variation: It takes two to fight. This goes along the same line as two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s near impossible to have a fight with only one participant. Be a peace maker or walk away…does fighting really solve anything? Now, this doesn't mean you can't have or express an opinion (so don't comment about your right to your own opinion or how that Duck Dynasty guy can say whatever he wants, etc.). It is good to have and express an opinion but it is possible to do it respectfully.
For example: I see someone wearing a red shirt with yellow, green and purple polka dots all over it. Someone asks how I feel about his shirt? Should I say: a) OH YUCK! What an ugly shirt! How can you wear that shirt it is so tacky! What is wrong with you! Seriously, WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. YOU? No one I hang out with would EVER wear a shirt like that! b) Not really my thing but I like how bright your smile is. Let's go get lunch!
If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?
I really hate this one. Teenaged me saw it as an attack on my intelligence…of course I wouldn’t jump of a bridge, that’s stupid! I would only do something someone else did if I also thought it was a good idea. What took me years to understand is I needed to put a little more thought into my reasoning. If I have a valid reason for saying, doing, or wanting something, I need to express it. If I don’t, perhaps I should think about it a little more.
Corn is a starch not a vegetable!
“Go downstairs and pick a vegetable for dinner,” instructs mom. Every kid’s favorite “vegetable?” Corn of course! Who wants peas or spinach when you can have corn! Except corn is grain (starch) which puts it in the same class as bread…another clever disguise for the dreaded and misunderstood carbohydrate. Potatoes are also a starch. Sorry for the bad news.