[October 31, 2018] Occasionally we are the lucky ones who have someone in our family that keeps us on the straight path to being a good person and who does so by dispensing practical guidance. My maternal grandmother, we called her bigmama, was a no-nonsense lady with the utmost integrity, moral strength, and compassion.
“Don’t allow your fears to overcome you. Fear no thing or no one.” – my Grandmother (as we called her, Bigmama)
Yes, like most grandmothers, she dispensed advice with a sprinkling of discipline and was able to do it in a way that made you feel special. Several readers of my leadership blog here at www.theLeaderMaker.com suggested that I consolidate and expand some of her unsolicited advice for the benefit of all.
- Life can be hard, so never lose hope. There will be times, she told me, when it will take every ounce of strength to preserve. Prayer and your family will help carry you through the worst of times.
- Get your act straight (morally and in your daily affairs). Usually given on the heels of me doing something wrong, bigmama was quick to point us grandkids in the right direction.
- When making a big decision, sleep on it. The next morning things may appear different, she told me. And they usually do.
- Never underestimate other people. Part of respecting others, bigmama was a lady who would always believe in what you thought and what you were doing. She knew you could do the right thing with the proper guidance and help. Bigmama told us to apply this idea to everyone we met.
- Don’t take risks without evaluating the benefits. I loved motorcycles and dirt-track racing them was my passion for a number of years. Then, bigmama sat me down to talk through the reasons I was in such a dangerous sport. Later when I married, I discovered my wife didn’t want me even owning a motorcycle. Alas, I never did own one again.
- Chose your friends wisely. Bigmama said that the people around us have a power over us that can be either good or bad. Therefore, it is a person’s option to choose your associations in life but then we must live with the results.
I have no idea where the name Bigmama came from and probably never will. But her presence, kindness, and straight-shooting personality attracted all the grandkids to her like moths to the light.