I believe in self-reliance.
When I turned 16, I began my first job working as a cashier at the local Food Lion in my hometown of Louisburg, North Carolina. It was not because I had to or because my parents forced me to. It was because of something really simple: regardless of the fact that I had other activities in school like playing basketball and clubs, I was just sick of having to ask my parents for money.
Though some may not see the significance of me getting a little after school and weekend job, this is the one thing that gives me much pride in life. What started as something that I wanted to do just to add extra money in my pocket, turned into something that did more for me mentally. Thankfully, to this day, I have never been jobless. The fact that I can depend on myself adds to my self-esteem on all levels.
Now as a 21 year old living on my own about an hour away from my parents, I also hold the titles of being both a full-time senior in college and a part-time worker who puts in 30 to 35 hours weekly. Some people may hear this and think I am doing too much or they want to know how my parents could make me do so much while I am in college. My response would be: no, I am not doing too much…it’s a little thing called hard work! When I grow older and look back at my life I will appreciate my accomplishments more because of this. Also, my parents love me and are totally capable of providing for me. They just know that my self-reliance is very important to me.
I have many friends who do not have a care or want in the world. They can just call “ma or pa”. I believe this type of dependency will set you up for failure in the future. I realize that my parents will not always be there for me as I grow older. It is a sobering feeling to know that they have instilled these values in me.
If you cannot tell, I am very proud of what I have accomplished thus far in my life. I will boastfully try to instill these same values in my children one day. Being self-reliant is not only necessary in order to get by in today’s society, I feel it is needed in order to survive and mature mentally.
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