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To:  A Future Generation
From:  Carolyn Naylor
Written:  10/7/2012
Posted:  10/9/2012

A lesson I learned when I was about 10 years old is forever replaying in my head. Though I learned a specific lesson that day, it really has had a wide ranging effect on how I view life.

My friends and I were playing in the backyard.  I really don’t remember the exact circumstances, but they dared me to do something naughty.  I guess the worst thing I could come up was to cut the webbing on one of the poolside chairs. I had totally forgotten about it by evening. When my dad come home from work, he heard the story from my mom.  He came into my room and joined me in playing with my Barbie dolls.  He didn’t often do this so I was thrilled having all his attention.  He asked which dresses were my favorite and I immediately showed him the new red ball gown and the white wedding dress Mom had bought for me at the exorbitant price of $5.  Out came the same scissors I had used to cut the chair. I burst into tears as my dad deliberately cut both dresses right down the middle. He really didn’t have to say a word – neither explaining why he was doing this nor asking me why I had ruined the chair. This lesson was profound for me.  I can still feel the emotion, truly a hurt heart, that my dad would do such a thing -deliberately ruin my 2 prized possessions. But I got it: Don’t mess with other people things.

Time goes on, and that lesson replays. Though, I do think my dad really was trying to teach me to respect other people’s belongings, it really plays much deeper…and much simpler. Life is full of very specific lessons and opportunities, but to me, all seem to boil down to the Golden Rule.  Whether it’s the opportunity to take time to talk story or viewing a difference of opinion from 180 degrees, it is treating others with respect. It’s said in many ways: Do unto others as you would have done unto you; What goes around comes around; You get what you give/You reap what you sow; Love others as you love yourself . It is a lesson that can’t be taught early enough and one that we can’t remind ourselves of enough.

It really is that simple.