This I Believe

Whitney - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on December 12, 2006

I believe that compassion is essential in the development of a child. Compassion is something that everyone needs, a tangible comfort that acknowledges that someone is there. Empathy is a feeling one gets when someone else is hurting. People who have empathy are known for giving advice, helping out others with problems being the “older sibling”. Compassion and empathy go hand in hand, having empathy makes you more compassionate, being compassionate says you can see others hurting; they are both gifts from God.

My mother and father, never previously divorced have been married for 26 years. My father, an entrepreneur of an internet service provider called Strato.Net; my mother is a middle school choral teacher. I was raised in a Christian home where we went to church every Sunday, and Wednesday. There was prayer before every meal, bedtime, and every family get together. Sounds like the perfect family that could be in a magazine, but did I mention there was no compassion?

My mother was born in Africa as a missionary kid, where she lived for 13 years of her life. While my grandparents were on the mission field my mother was too young to go with them so she was sent to a boarding school with her younger sister. My mother told me that she saw her parents on an average every six months, and in her adolescence she was not shown affection. My father was born in Florida with his 6 others siblings, his parents decided that it was too hard to show compassion and love towards their kids equally so they decided not too also.

As the history goes on my mother and father had three daughters, and as their parents did they decided to carry on the trait. I grew up getting God forced upon me, getting good grades, and making sure I was in a singing travel group. As I grew up I was feeling more and more neglected and felt as most kids do, that I can not do anything right. The older I got the harder it was to grasp the way my parents were dealing with things.

The first time I recall hearing the three most overused and overrated words was the summer going into my freshman year. And from then on is when trouble stated to occur. I expected to hear them, but when it came from my father I wanted to hear it from my mother. Not one time in my life have I heard I love you, Thank you, or I am sorry from my mother, or do we talk about life situations. If that is the way she was raised, can I hold that against her? It is a choice we all must make, to love one another. Compassion and empathy are essential in my life. I have decided to stop the history and let people know that I love them so much, that I am here, and I’m not afraid to show people the gifts God gave me.