Words of Wisdom From The Mamas In Our Lives
In celebration of Mother’s Day we talked to girls nationwide to to find out how their moms taught them to be a boss…
A strong woman speaks eloquently, commands attention, and remains calm even under the bright lights.
My mother embodies what it means to be a boss. She hustles, unwaveringly supports her family and friends, and never compromises her integrity or worth. My mother was never preachy on how I should be a boss—the ways in which she handled her business rubbed off on me. Like a boss, she held me to high expectations, pushed me, and accepted nothing less than excellence. I owe my power as a boss girl to my mother.
Both my mother and grandmother stressed the importance of being an articulate BOSS. For them, strong women don’t mumble or stumble over their words–they speak eloquently, command attention, and remain calm even under the bright lights.
To me, being a boss is having the courage and stamina to succeed at whatever you decide to do. My mother never lectured me about these concepts or demanded I take classes or do extracurricular activities to learn them. She taught me to be a boss through example.
As I was growing up, she worked her way through graduate school as a single mother with a full time job. I watched her work tirelessly in order for my brother and I to have the opportunities we do today. She showed me the importance of dedication, perseverance, and passion and she refused to compromise any of her goals regardless of how difficult the path ahead of her may have seemed.
You can’t teach strength or determination, but she’s managed to instill it in me regardless. Everything I get to do is because of her hard work, and I’m grateful every day that she refused to take an easier way out or give in to the circumstances and forget her dream. That’s what bosses are really made of, and I’m lucky to have learned that from the very best!
Because of my Agba and my mom, quitting is a word that is nearly nonexistent in my vocabulary.
My mother and my grandmother have both taught me always rely on me, myself and I. Yes there will be times when I must ask for help (it’s ok!), but to never put myself in a position from the get-go where I feel like I need someone else.
My grandmother, who I call Agba, raised four children by herself, and put herself through undergrad and graduate school, and is now self-employed and able to work and teach around the country and the world. Similarly my mom has persevered through all the challenges life has thrown her way, without allowing me and my sister to feel the change.
Watching both women succeed inspires me to become successful, and never give up. Because of my Agba and my mom, quitting is a word that is nearly nonexistent in my vocabulary. Although it may cross my mind at some point, I am aware that things could be worse, and they could get harder, so as long as I continue to push forward, I will become a stronger and better person.
“You aren’t responsible for anyone’s actions but your own, as long as you’re doing what you have to do you’ll be alright.”
— Mildred S. Nelson
Growing up, my nana was probably one of the most important and influential people in my life. She still is. Out of all the pearls of wisdom she’s shared with me over the past 22 years, this stood out:
Taking responsibility for your own actions and recognizing that other people’s actions don’t dictate your own choices—even if it seems they make your choices difficult. She helped me learn that above all else you are in charge of you and you have to take the lead in your own life despite what other people are doing.
This too shall pass.
My grandmother picked cotton as a child growing up in Abbeville, South Carolina alongside her 13 brothers and sisters. My mom grew up in a racially segregated Buffalo, NY and was bussed across town every day to school in order to receive a decent education. Despite the daily and systemic struggles of their upbringing, my grandmother and mother were both determined to receive a college education, graduating with an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree respectively, just one day apart.
Their journeys are a continuous reminder to me that I must always work hard.
My grandmother used to always say ‘this too shall pass,’ and it’s a quote that I will forever use in the face of adversity to remind myself that any sense of an impending setback is just a set up for a success unimaginable.”
Walk by faith, not by sight.
My Nana showed me how to be fearless and walk by faith. She is the first person I call whenever I am having personal issues or having difficulty making a decision. Whenever this happens, she always tells me to walk by faith and not by sight. Through her words and actions, she constantly reminds me that by being fearless and pushing through my discomfort, I can achieve whatever I want to achieve.