Nature vs. Nurture

I’ve come to believe I was raised very much by nature and nurture, mom having left me to nature (ie: my own devices) or to nurture (ie: my grandparents). Gran tried her hardest to get me to behave like a lady, which believe it or not I can actually do when absolutely necessary.

Afterwards I come home, eat beans from the can (and you know what that leads to), drink from the bottle and swear like a sailor whose leave has just been cancelled.

My mother was a firm believer in absent parenting. My grandparents, on the other hand, were not. Mom didn’t seem to care how or where I presented myself, so long as she wasn’t embarrassed by my presence.

My grandparents, aunts & uncles, not so much.

What a Child Learns

I found this today in my gran’s little black ‘cookbook,’ a small binder filled to bursting with old wives tales, recipes, kitchen tips, rhymes, alternative healing methods passed down from her mother and aunts, and notes about life in general. I have several of these little binders of hers, and each one is a treasure in and of itself.

This particular piece is uncredited, a snippet of age-yellowed newsprint cut from the weekend edition, or perhaps the old farmer’s magazine they used to get once in a while.

What a Child Learns

If a child lives with criticism,
    He learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hositility,
    He learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule,
    He learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame,
    He learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with tolerance,
    He learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement,
    He learns to have confidence.

If a child lives with praise,
    He learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness,
    He learns justice.

If a child lives with approval,
    He learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
    He learns to find love in the world.

Author unknown.