This I Believe

Christopher - Champaign, Illinois
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

One of the few things that I believe is that my elders deserve my respect. I am not sure at what point during my life this was instilled within me but it is one thing that I hold very close to me. I am sure that it was my mother that taught me this virtue.

I believe that the elderly are one of the greatest resources that have helped to guide and shape my life. My mother has been a personal care giver for elderly since 1997. When I was younger, there were many times that my younger brother and I would have to go with my mother to one of her clients. They told me many war stories and stories about the Great Depression that were inspirational. I feel that I am the hard worker that I am because of some of the stories of hardship that they told me. I couldn’t imagine having to do some of the things that they did when they were younger. One woman told me stories of her being thirteen years old and having to take care of her two younger brothers and three sisters because her father was away at war and her mother was busy helping making tanks. There were many other inspirational stories like this one that were told to me when I was younger.

It makes me happy when I see other young adults like myself appreciating and taking care of elderly. There was one such instance that sticks out in my mind. I was walking down Green Street, a street with many commercial businesses at the University of Illinois, when I saw this very weak elderly woman trying to cross the street with only the assistance of a cane. My heart went out to her because it was apparent that it was very difficult for her to walk, let alone try and walk across the street within the time the cross-walk sign allowed. Before I even had the chance to get to her to assist her across the street, there were already two young men helping her. One of the men was escorting her across the street, at her pace, while the other man stopped traffic to ensure all involved were safe.

This is a prime example of respecting the elderly, one thing I believe to be very important. These people are the ones that paved the way for my future. I would not be where I am or who I am if it were not for them. As I previously said, they give me the inspiration to work hard.