Advice for Youth from “Diamond” Lillian Hughes

FFA Keynote Speakers “What advice for youth would you share?”  I posted this question on Facebook last week.  The answer is important to me since I am the closing speaking for Future Farmers of America October 31 LIVE on Rural 345 Direct TV. @NationalFFA My answer came the following day when I sat in First Baptist Church in Johnston, South Carolina at Lillian “Diamond” Hughes’ Celebration of Life Service. Yes, it was as genuine and sparkling as a pure-cut diamond…just like Lillian.  Her son, Bill shared great advice for youth from his mother, Lillian Hughes or as we called her, “Diamond Lil.”

“My mother taught me three things:  communicate with people in a manner that they can understand. She also taught me patience.” “Lastly,” Bill continued, “my mother taught me to have respect for others.”


“Many of you know that my mother was widowed at a young age. And she had three children to rear.  Late one night a robber broke into our home and stood at the foot of mother’s bed.  She rose up and to the surprise of the intruder, let expletive language fly,” Bill said.  Those of us who knew Lillian well completely understand that this woman was a consummate Southern lady BUT she had poignant “steel magnolia” moments. The intruder was so surprised he fled but not without being chased with a Smith and Wesson pistol concealed in her signature Gold Toe sock. The next day, Preacher Knight came to visit Lillian after hearing the story.  Holding her hand, Preacher Knight said, “Sister Lillian, what did you say to the intruder?” Lillian very wisely replied, “Preacher I would rather not say.” “Well,” continued Preacher Knight, “Whatever it was, I am sure the Lord put those words in your mouth.”


After smiles and a few chuckles, Lillian’s son, Bill continued to tell another story. “As Mother and I traveled down Highway 25, we came to a stop.  In the middle of that busy two-way road, a woman was knocking pecans from the trees with a long pole and sweeping them across the road. Cars behind us were so impatient and unhappy with my mother’s decision to wait on the women to finish her work.  My mother said, “Have patience and respect the hard work of others. I am not  moving this car until she is finished.”


Tucked in the above lesson was the last “Diamond Lil” story; to have respect for others.

This is great advice for all people especially the youth of today. Share your advice;  I would love to hear some other thoughts.


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