This I Believe

Linda - Piqua, Ohio
Entered on January 12, 2007

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

~Soren Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard is correct. We must live our lives forward, learning and growing as we go. But we do not fully comprehend all that we know, believe, and understand until we reflect into the past-the place from which we came. And yet, there are still mysteries that will never be fully understood; things we know but cannot pinpoint the exact time we learned them. Traditions are explainable. We know why we celebrate the holidays in the manner that we do. Skills are datable. We can remember when Dad taught us to ride a bike without our training wheels, when Mom showed us how to bake our first chocolate chip cookie, when Grandma taught us how to sew. It was a hot summer day, or it was a cold snowy day when school was cancelled. We can isolate them; they are sealed permanently in our memories, marked on our calendars, pressed in our photo albums for all posterity. But when did we learn right from wrong? When did we decide what is good and what is bad? How did we decide that “this” is the standard to live our lives by? If I try to examine my life backwards I still cannot choose a date or a time when I learned the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. It was all throughout my life that the influences of my family and friends, some good and some bad, molded my beliefs, solidify my morals, interpreted what was to be valued, and developed my standards for living a positive, Christian, life. From these moments in time, I have become me, this self, this daughter, this sister, this wife, this mother, this person,-this teacher.

As a Christian, I believe in God and the Bible. I believe that He gave us the rules to live by and the morals and standards to help one develop into a valued, non-judgmental person. I believe in treating everyone with equality. I believe in searching for the good in everyone, and I believe that we all have a purpose, no matter how great or small, that we must fulfill. I hope that I can help fulfill others’ purpose through my own purpose. A purpose that came to me only in the latter part of my life; it is the purpose to teach.

What do I want people to say of me when they look backwards at my life? I want them to say first and foremost that I was a good mother, that I loved and nurtured my daughters into educated women, who have convictions, courage, honor, dignity, pride, and great self-worth. I want them to know how to love and to be loved as I have been loved, by them, their father, and my family. I want them to be whatever they dream of being and to know that they are capable of anything. I want them to know how to be a good wife, a great mother, and a dear friend. Most importantly, I want them to remember always that my life was only complete when they came to me. They are my world, my dreams and hopes for the future, the answer to many prayers, and my reason for being. They are my first students. I hope that they will be my best legacy.