“Don’t run with scissors.”
“Never let your gas tank get below half full.”
“Treat others as you want to be treated.”
My mom filled my head with these mantras — and many more — my entire life.
I reflect on these life rules that she instilled in me often, (which reminds me of that song “Voices” by Chris Young) so It wasn’t ususual for me to think back today on another piece of advice she gave me:
“Don’t burn your bridges.”
I have worked in the media/mass communications/public relations world since I graduated from college. I’ve had bosses I’ve adored and bosses that I, well, didn’t. The same goes for co-workers. But never in my (ahem) many years of employment have I ever left a job without giving at least two weeks. Nor have I ever had a knock down drag out fight with a peer or superior. Have I had differences of opinion? Sure! Have I argued with my peers? Yup! But I’d like to think I never crossed the line of disrespect.
Because that’s how my mama taught me.
And she was right. Today, I attended a training on using social media as a disaster management tool. I glanced over the list of attendees as I scribbled my name on the sign in sheet. I was surprised to see name of someone on that list that I had worked with almost 25 years ago and I got to go to lunch with a gentleman I worked with 16 years ago. I never had any greivances with either of these colleagues, but even if I had, I wouldn’t have behaved any differently because I have always tried to follow that rule: Don’t burn your bridges.
Am I considered being two-faced if I don’t particularly care for someone but I still smile at them and say hello? No…it’s called being a professional. A grown up.
In an era where people are very quick to rant in public, whether it be physically in person or in an on-line platform, you need to remember that we really do live in a small world. The co-worker you “bitch out” today because you don’t like something they did or said, could end up being your boss some day. The temporary satisfaction you might feel from getting your frustration off your chest might not be worth it in the long run.
As usual, my mother was right. I still hear her voice in my head…guiding me…helping me navigate this life with her words of wisdom she so graciously gifted me. I wish she was still here to talk to me but I just have to cherish the memories instead…and keep my ears and heart open for other good advice.
So tell me…what was the most important thing you learned from your mom and dad? I’d love to hear your stories.
Until next time – Stay Loving. Kind. Generous. Strong.