Moms and memes. They don't really go together, now do they? Why do our kids know so much more about technology? I'm stymied by something as primitive as putting together a drying rack to hang clothes on; I asked my son to help, and voilá, he had it done in minutes.

Do we lose that part of our - pardon the pun - mental motherboards as we get older? Did we never have it? Perhaps it only comes standard with younger-model brains.

In marketing, the phrase is, "Create your own brand." Perhaps we need to create our own "Mom-memes" instead. With everyone on YouTube and videos going viral, maybe we can follow the lead of the younger generation and try to distill all of our unheeded parental lectures into a two-minute clip.

What if you had to sum up the key to life in four words or less? Would it be possible to encapsulate epiphanies in a small swatch?

Meaning of life: Hope, Empathy, Love, Laughter.

Work ethic: Industry, Endurance, Attitude, Accomplishment.

The "secret" to weight loss could be distributed in a fat-free fortune cookie: Eat less, move more.

If values could be packaged neatly, McDonald's would have a McTruth Value Meal, and Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom.

Every day I tell my son, "Always do the right thing." Hackneyed mom wisdom? Sure. But is it a meme? Probably not. I think if I had to sum up all that matters in life, it would be, "You never know the whole story, so give people the benefit of the doubt."

So I need to work on that keeping-it-to-four-words thing. Whatever you call it, building your brand or a meme in the making, just remember, if you're going to put yourself out there on a video clip, try to speak your piece in a tactful way, and more importantly, make sure you've got something to say! And fix your hair, wouldja? Enough with the Bieber haircut all over the place. On behalf of all the low-tech moms in the world, I humbly thank you.

A Civil Tongue

My earliest memory from school is this:
"It's a free country."
Later on, I recall: "Everyone's entitled to their opinion."
What I didn't know then was the underlying truth –
We're mostly soul, wrapped in flesh and blood.
Please send a few things from bygone days to help us connect,
Like common courtesy, tact, gentility.
Allow us to remember that we are a civilization,
And as such, really should be civil in our discourse.
Soften the tone for the sake of the children.
Bless us as we breathe life into the world with our words.

-Ruth Williams



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