Editor's note: Oakli Wright, who recently turned 18, offers five things she has learned from her parents and her father, author and Deseret News columnist Jason Wright, shares five things he hopes his daughter has learned. Click here for Jason Wright's perspective.
My mom and dad often tell me some lessons are better learned at home than in the real world. As my turn to leave home looms closer, I think back on five important lessons I hope my parents know I learned.
First, I did learn how to clean. While my parents may disagree, I do know how to clean up after myself. Now, that doesn’t mean I enjoy it, but given a rag and some cleaning supplies, I can make the house presentable. The part of that lesson I haven’t quite caught on to is the part about actually wanting a clean home more than a dirty one.
Second, I've learned how to serve. My house has been filled with service since I was little. It’s a founding principle of the Wright home that started back when Mom and Dad got married. They grew up in service-oriented homes, and have shared that with their own children.
Third, I’ve learned about the gospel. My parents have taken me to church, youth group and all other church activities as often as my dad purchases gummy bears. They live the gospel at home and abroad. They share their examples with the entire world, hoping that we will learn something too. And I have.
Fourth, I learned how to develop my talents. My parents have always encouraged me to develop our talents and use them for good. My dad is an amazing author. My mom is a phenomenal photographer. My siblings and I have been blessed with many talents as well, and as we grow, we develop them into devices to help the world. Our parents do whatever they can to help us strengthen the talents we’ve been given so we will influence the world in a positive way.
Lastly, I’ve learned to be a decent human being. When I was little, if I did something wrong, they would tell me what I did wrong and how I could fix it next time. Now, as my youth slips away, in every situation that is appropriate, my mom and dad will relate my life now to what it will be like in college. “Your roommates are not going to be as nice as we are about your messy room.” “Your roommates will not let you get out of doing your share in cleaning the dorm.” This helps put everything in perspective when you realize your chance to learn lessons at home is coming to an end. In less than a year, life is going to change, and unless I act like the decent human being I was raised to be, I won’t survive long.
These five lessons are definitely not all I’ve learned in the last 18 years. But, at the moment, these are some of the most important. Yes, my dad may argue with me about whether or not I really know how to clean. But I’ll just remind him that this is my part of the article, not his. I just hope that, one day, when I have my own family, I’ll be able to teach my children all the things my parents have taught me.
Thanks, Mom and Dad. I love you!
Oakli Wright is a senior at Central High School in Woodstock, Va. She hopes to attend Brigham Young University next fall. She has three younger siblings and her father, Jason Wright, writes a weekly column for the Deseret News.