Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation host.
It's Mother's Day. If I asked you to remember something your mother told you, what's the first thing that would come to your mind?
Here's what I would remember:
"It's better to get to the airport too early than too late." She must have said it a thousand times, but she never missed a flight as far as I know, and never kept anyone waiting.
"You'll do better with a smile on your face and a shine on your shoes," which she believed were the first steps to any successful transaction.
"What do you mean, he was bigger than you are?" - an excuse we learned early on not to make.
"You've been sick long enough, it's time to get up and go to school." She believed all sickness ran its course in three days. After that it was back to class.
"I didn't raise you up to get you out of jail." No explanation required on that one.
My mother hated liars and thieves, was suspicious of rich people, preachers and every girl I ever brought home, and was always on guard against mini-warehouses which, she was convinced, someone was always trying to build in her neighborhood to drive down her property values.
Her rules were simple: if you obeyed them she took your side in any argument and against any foe; if you didn't, you got whopped, severely whopped.
That philosophy probably wouldn't pass muster today but her kids turned out all right, and not a day passes that I don't think of her and what she taught us.
I've even started to worry about mini-warehouses.
Happy Mother's Day!
By Bob Schieffer