Some of the best advice I wish I had taken from my parents was to ‘Practise what you Preach’ and ‘There’s nothing worse than a hypocrite lad’ they used to always say. It was so very important to our parents that you believe in, not only what you’re saying, but also what you do in life. ‘Walk the walk and believe in yourself!’ Father would often repeat. Our parents had such a strong work ethic and nothing was ever taken for granted. They didn’t grow up with the freedoms and privileges we have grown up with having lived through so many hardships, not to mention a World War! They were always so conscious of the gifts of life and would always remind us as kids that ‘we didn’t know we were born sometimes’, which, in hindsight, we really didn’t!
Treating your neighbours well, keeping the house clean and tidy, being thankful for the food on your table and speaking with good manners were all really important to Mother and Father so they taught us well. I wish we still said ‘Grace’ at every meal time like we used to growing up. It was a ritual in our house and something I wish we had continued down the line because it was always a lovely moment of family gratitude and togetherness around the dinner table.
Our parents would always make sure we were well dressed and polite whenever we had visitors or when we went to church on a Sunday. Looking back, I remember I used to hate having to wear my Sunday best, all white and blue starched shirts, and knee length trousers, but when I look at the photos I can see how well-dressed we all looked and how that gave us all a real sense of pride as a family. We were always told to be polite and humble and I think that the great advice from our parents in those days really did give us a great sense of pride in family and went on to help us be the people we are today. The good old days.