Teacher Feature: Jon Gustin Since all mothers and mother figures have their own unique approach and personality when raising children, Family Life thought it would be fun to share advice that some of our contributors have received from the special individuals who helped them become successful adults. Happy Mother’s Day! Eddie Robinson, Fire Chief Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services The best advice I ever received from my mother is to “abide by the golden rule and always strive to obey the 10 Commandments.” She made it easy to understand the difference between right and wrong and would often remind me that, no matter the circumstance, I should always do what’s right. If we treat others the way we want to be treated and consider them with care and compassion, we will never go wrong. Remember, every person you encounter, no matter how difficult, is someone who God created and loves dearly. Vicky Tuszynski, Office Manager Family Life Publications My grandmother, Elizabeth Garrison, used to say, “Always choose to look for the good in people.” And I would say, “But they did this bad thing!” To which she would respond with, “Yes, but they also did these good things, too.” She was a faithful Christian who always lived her life like that. Julie Senger, Editor-in-Chief Family Life Publications “Pretty is as pretty does” was a phrase my mother said many times when I was a child, most likely when I was acting out about not getting my way for one reason or another. At the time, the weight of that statement was mostly lost on me. But as an adult, I’ve often caught myself thinking about this phrase while witnessing or reading about aesthetically attractive people who’ve chosen to do some not-so-pretty things. Overall, I’ve learned that while physical beauty is subjectively “in the eye of the beholder,” choosing to do good things will always be perceived as beautiful by most everyone. Shannon Wallace, District Attorney Cherokee County Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit Probably the best advice my mother has given me is to “be persistent with pursuing my passion and never give up.” I’m very fortunate to have a mother who has always believed in me and encouraged me to shoot for the moon in every aspect of my life. She has taught me that nothing worth having comes easy and that anything can be accomplished with tenacity and hard work. Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Superintendent of Schools Cherokee County School District My mother, Linda Adams Hightower, was the absolute best when it came to being an encouraging, Bible-quoting cheerleader for me growing up. Whether struggling with a tough history essay or being nervous about an upcoming ball game, she could be counted on to assertively remind me, “You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!” While my family might not always enjoy sitting near her in the stands during a competition or game (think “loud”), she was definitely in her element. And, what a legacy she left, with not only family, but friends and teammates knowing they always had someone in their corner. Cyndi Braun, Associate Editor Family Life Publications My mom always said, “If you want something bad enough, do everything you can to achieve it.” She probably learned that from my grandmother who never shrank from a fight. With these women as role models, I did something bold in high school – I joined the boys’ track team because my school did not offer a girls’ program. I fought for acceptance and a place on that team. By the end of the season, I made it to regional finals, inspired the school to offer a girls’ team, and learned that perseverance pays off. Tiffany Corn, Graphic Artist Family Life Publications “If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your damn mouth shut.” – Tammy Atwood Bruce Thompson, State Senator Georgia’s 14th Senate District There are two things my mom said that have really stuck with me: “You will never truly understand the love I have for you until you hold your own child in your arms!” and “Stay focused on the windshield and not the rearview mirror because it’s hard to see what God may have in front of you if you are constantly looking behind you.” Bill Grant, Mayor City of Canton My mother was a real pistol, so it was usually me giving advice to her! However, there are two lessons I recall. From an early age, she always taught me to “treat everyone the same – with dignity and respect – regardless of their circumstances, race, or appearance.” The second important advice my mama gave me was to “never over-mix or over-work biscuit dough,” unless I wanted them to turn out like hockey pucks! Stephanie Bolton, Graphic Artist Family Life Publications I’m fortunate to still have both my parents, and both have taught me so much. One thing my mom used to say that still pops into my head is, “Learn to type.” When I was in high school, my mom insisted I learn to type because it’s a skill that I would always need. I didn’t really understand it at the time, but I did it. Now, whenever I see someone hen-pecking the keyboard, I hear her voice and think, “I’m glad I learned to type.” Frank Reynolds, Sheriff Cherokee Sheriff’s Office My grandmother, Mildred, always used to say, “Life is all about the experience. Enjoy it.” Michael Caldwell, Mayor City of Woodstock My mother had three sons, and there was not one thing that she wouldn’t have done for us. We each knew it, and she showed it constantly. She taught my brothers and me by example to “be fierce protectors of family” and to “love without holding back.” I hope I can be half the dad for my kids that she was a mom for me. John Albers, State Senator Georgia’s 56th Senate District When I was young, my mother quoted Benjamin Franklin who said, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and told me to save half of whatever I earned, tithe to the church, and live debt free. It was very sound advice that has guided my personal and business life. Her advice included more than money. She also taught me to be smart and generous with my time, talents, gifts, and treasure. I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!