This I Believe

Melody - Denton, Texas
Entered on May 2, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

This I Believe Essay –

Born in 1945 and 1948, my older brother Joe and I grew up in the 1950’s, rebelled in the 1960’s, lost our way and found it again. Each time we strayed, we each returned again and again to the lessons our parents attempted to instill us – the essential lessons that they assured us would carry us safely through our lives.

These lessons came from their own experiences growing up in a Clay County, Texas farming community and a small Falls County, Texas town, sheltered in close-knit families, and actively involved in their Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Our parents were deeply affected by their Depression Era youth, their early married life of separation during World War II, and their later struggles to create a secure home for us.

As children we thought their lessons were so simple. But we both quickly discovered that these lessons were in reality more difficult than the advanced university degrees we would earn. As an adult – rapidly approaching retirement – I continue to attempt mastery of my parents’ lessons and to be an example for my son.

Now I can say with conviction –

This I Believe: These are the essential lessons that should carry us all safely through our lives:

Tell the Truth;

Your Word is Your Bond;

Take Responsibility for Your Actions; and

Look for the Good in Everyone.

Four simple lessons – would that we all could master them!