By Vickie Hasan

My mother did it alone as a single mom on the southwest side of Chicago. Coming out of a 10-year marriage with two kids and only a high school diploma, she set out to prove that she ... more 
By Vickie Hasan

My mother did it alone as a single mom on the southwest side of Chicago. Coming out of a 10-year marriage with two kids and only a high school diploma, she set out to prove that she could be somebody. Each night, as my sister and I completed our homework at the kitchen table, my mother sat completing hers as well. She established a tenor in our house: She led by example.

A major rule in our house: Finish what you start. If we started the dishes, then we finished the dishes. If we started a puzzle, then we finished a puzzle. If we started a project, then we finished that project. Under her watchful eye and incredible patience, she diligently ensured that we learned the benefits of dedication. We were required to finish all of our homework, even if we did not quite understand it entirely.

This is but one lesson I took from my mother, but a central one in my life. She taught me to work hard, never give up, believe in myself, and finish what I start, not through continuous lectures, but through her own dedication and perseverance. Nothing teaches more than example.

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Fri, May 10, 2013 4:00 PM EDT