Lessons From My Mother, Revisited
A year ago, I posted the eulogy I gave at my mother’s funeral. Sunday, I will get my second chance to speak about her as her headstone is unveiled. The custom is to celebrate the work her soul did on its trip through this life, so I had to think beyond what I originally wrote. Here is what I’ll say.
My mother brought peace to the world, without ever winning a Nobel Prize for her work. She just believed that people should get along and so she treated them that way. She never held a grudge, at least not very firmly. And she told me that while I didn’t have to be best friends with everyone, at least I had to give them a chance.
I remember her saying this about boys too, when I was dating them. I remember thinking at that time, you can’t possibly mean this, Mom. I mean, he might have been polite to you, but you didn’t see him gearing up for a teenage smooch-a-thon. I always wondered if that would have changed her mind.
But it turns out that she was right. What she was saying was, don’t make snap judgments on the basis of what you see. It takes time to experience people, to value what is special about them, and to discover their flaws, fatal and otherwise. And I realized that she, in her own way, knew the reason that Role-Based Assessment works. Of course with RBA, you know the answers when you read their report. As we say, it’s the ‘new way to know’. But it’s based on something very old and as practical and enduring as a mother’s wisdom.