Things I’ve Learned from Betty-ma
Introductory Meditation Lectures for Children
Find out more about Betty Zimmer
Always do your very best.
You may not think you are as good at something as someone else, but if you always do your very best, with lots of effort and concentration, you will get better whether it is schoolwork, karate or helping at home.
Try to always tell the truth.
The greatest advantage of telling the truth is that you don’t have to remember what you said. Don’t do anything that you cannot tell someone else about or let others make you do something you are not comfortable doing.
Always treat your parents respectfully.
You may not always agree with your parents but you can be respectful towards them and appreciate all that they provide you with – love, a home, food, clothes and opportunities (like taking karate).
Be grateful for your life.
Think of all of the good things that are in your life – family, friends, school, hobbies, and activities – and appreciate all of them.
Don’t take everything so personally.
If someone calls you a bad name or criticizes you, it usually has nothing to do with you. It is often their bad feelings about something else, or themselves, and may have nothing to do with you. This is how bullies behave.
Learn to listen carefully.
Do this in class, to teachers and your parents. Don’t interrupt. You can ask questions later. There are often very important lessons to learn from others by listening, especially from your elders like Betty-ma.
Show respect for others and for yourself.
Be polite and don’t be loud in public places. Don’t push in front of other people and always be kind to those younger and smaller than you. Be helpful.
Take good care of your body.
You only have one body and you need to treat it well. Get enough sleep. Eat what is good for you, but don’t overeat. Exercise and you will feel better and be a better student.
Don’t use bad language.
You will hear adults as well as classmates using bad language. It is not a good habit. Decide to be a better example for others to follow and do not copy or repeat bad language.
Don’t be bossy.
Friends and family members do not like to be bossed around. Neither do you. It usually doesn’t work most of the time anyway and creates bad feelings with others and yourself.
Show respect for other people’s religious or cultural beliefs.
You expect others to respect your beliefs so you should respect theirs. Don’t argue about these things, it is okay for a friend to like one thing and for you to like another.
Try to use good manners and be polite.
Say “thank you” and “excuse me” – especially to your family members. Some people are only polite and pleasant in public, but you should be polite at home as well.
Be respectful of other people’s property/possessions.
Don’t touch the books, toys or papers of your brothers’ or sisters’ without asking. Allow them privacy, as you want your privacy. They may take special care of certain belongings and you would want them to be respectful of your things.
Teasing can be fun but don’t be hurtful towards others.
Words can be as hurtful as a bee sting. So be careful when playing with friends and family in a teasing way. Teasing is fun unless you are hurting the feelings of the other person, then it is more like bullying.
Be helpful where you can.
Be helpful at home when you are asked. Help someone who seems to need help but hasn’t asked. Be helpful and supportive at school where you can.
Don’t look to others to make you happy.
Only you can make yourself happy. Emotions are feelings that we can control all by ourselves. You can decide to be happy every morning when you wake up.
When there is a situation or problem that you cannot fix or change, you can always choose to be cheerful and make the best of the situation.
Be kind to animals.
Take responsibility for your pets at home. Don’t get upset if a cat or dog doesn’t respond like a human. They don’t understand our ways. Learn what they can understand and be patient.
Week nineteen – from Sensei Amelia’s mother Louise
If you want to be loved, be lovable. If you want to be respected, be respectful.