|“You can paint a wall or clean a carpet,” Johannah Hedemark used to say, “but you can’t re-do those kids.”|
“If you never did anything,” my mother used to point out logically, “you’d never make any mistakes.”
My mother Johannah Hedemark, who raised ten kids including two sets of twins in a row (four children under the age of two, in diapers, at one time!!!!!!) was a virtual fountain of practical wisdom. In fact, the year before her death, I collected from each of our family members their favourite lesson learned from our Mom. The assembled list, titled “Mom Remembered” rivals Carnegie’s 30 Human Relations Principles for short, sweet, useful words to live by.
Just a few examples of the Johannah Hedemark Principles:
1) Do not waste.
2) A job worth doing is worth doing well.
3) If you never did anything, you’d never make any mistakes.
4) You can paint a wall or clean a carpet, but you can’t re-do those kids.
5) Remember the Three Cs: Caring, Consideration and Courtesy.
6) Go ahead and laugh at me, I always have a twenty when you need one.
7) Once it’s in your head, no one can take it away from you.
8) Hate the sin, not the sinner.
9) Be careful, you may be the only Bible someone ever reads.
10) When you’re finished a job, turn around and look behind you: double check that you have done everything.
It is not coincidence that many of Mom’s favourite “words to live by” parallel Carnegie principles. In fact, Mom was a big Carnegie fan – I grew up hearing her talk of Dale Carnegie’s books, Dale Carnegie’s newspaper columns, and Dale Carnegie’s radio shows.
I heard her say “Any fool can criticize, condemn or complain and most of them do,” for years before I realized she was not the author of that statement – she was quoting Dale Carnegie.
Her own version of the “3 Cs” was phrased in the positive: “Remember Caring, Consideration and Courtesy.”