May 8, 2022 - Economy & Business

Axios Finish Line: Lessons from moms around the country — and world

Animated gif of the word "Mom" being written, but the Ms are made out of the Axios logo.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Hundreds of you answered our call for Mother's Day wisdom with thoughtful and witty tips from your moms.

Why it matters: All of our moms are troves of wisdom — and we can all learn from them. Here is a selection of lessons.

1) Be kind — and selfless.

  • "My mother taught me that it is never too late to change your opinion and always to be thoughtful about the world around me." –Amy P., Eaton Rapids, Michigan
  • "No matter what, put others first — the most memorable example was at the end of her life when the doctors shared their recommendation to stop cancer treatment, she spent the next 30 minutes thanking them and telling them how much she appreciated them." –Larry E., Richmond, Virginia
  • "Don't judge others. Never consider yourself better than anyone else, and don't assume you know what they've been through — you don't." –Mary Ann T., Santa Monica, California
  • "Respect everyone's independence and intelligence — even children." –Mitchell T., Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • "My mother always insisted the back and neck were her favorite parts of the chicken. She always wanted others to have the best, whether it was chicken or anything else." –Linda H., Moncks Corner, South Carolina
  • "Always, always, a thank-you note!" –Jen M., Boston
  • "Never take the last cookie." –Deedee L., Missoula, Montana

2) Be yourself.

  • “'The clothes don’t make the boy; it’s the boy that makes the clothes,' when I was embarrassed that I had to wear hand-me-downs." –Dan J., Eureka Springs, Arkansas
  • "I don't care what you grow up to be as long as you are the best you can be." –Sandra H., Ocala, Florida
  • "Never be ashamed of being weird — all the coolest kids are." –Vincent C., Hoboken, New Jersey

3) Be humble.

  • "Listen more, talk less. My mom taught me at an early age the value to be gained from listening to others (however urgent or right one feels about the thoughts they want to communicate)." –Brent G., Houston
  • "Others do not need to know when a good deed is done for others. Just do it." –Neil J., Shreveport, Louisiana
  • "If you learn something, it’s not a wasted day." –Pam R., Little Rock, Arkansas
  • "If you’re going to forgive someone eventually, do it now." –Merry D., Norman, Oklahoma

4) Take responsibility.

  • "If you can’t get out of it, get into it (when you have to do something, take the opportunity to be enthusiastic about it rather than complaining)." –Kelly W., Washington, D.C.
  • "Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres." –Bianca O.W., New Mexico (Translation: "Show me who your friends are, and I'll show you who you are.")
  • "You can’t have a good day if you don't make your bed!" –Tina S., Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • "Resilience. To overcome the vicissitudes of life in rural Kenya, get a college education in Oklahoma, U.S. and found a business back in Nakuru, Kenya." –Stephen M., Nakuru, Kenya
  • "Help keep your community clean by picking up a piece of garbage whenever and wherever you find it." –Jeff G., Morristown, New Jersey

5) Life is short — have some fun.

  • "Don’t get mad when Jimmy V. shoots a BB gun through your window." –Jim G. from Three Lakes, Wisconsin (Context from Axios CEO Jim VandeHei: This guy still thinks I shot a hole in his window when we were kids; I am certain it was my brother!)
  • "Calories on holidays don't count." –Kevin B., Fort Collins, Colorado
  • "Butter your toast all the way to the edge." –Steve D., La Grande, Oregon
  • "My mom always said 'I don't buy green bananas,' which meant live each day like it could be your last." –James E. from Evergreen, Colorado
  • "It just gets worse, dear," –Len J., Burnaby, Canada
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