This I Believe

Xuan - San Diego, California
Entered on October 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love

Love is a catalyst to bond people together. Victor Hugo once said “What a grand thing, to be loved! What a grander thing still, to love!” It is already difficult to make someone else appreciate and love me. However, it is more challenging to treat all different people kindly and make them realize that there is still love in the world. Consequently, I believe in love.

I have learned that love is caring. Mother was the first person who taught me how to take care of other people. Raising a child is not a simple task, especially a girl, because in Asian culture, only boys are valued. Although I have not received any consideration from grandmother, uncles, and aunts on my dad’s side, I always feel warm and happy because I have my mother who loves me dearly. She never checks to make sure that I complete my homework because she believes that I am a great student. She has confidence in her daughter that no one else in the family possesses.

When I graduated from high school, my mother did not pressure me or force me to study too hard to become a doctor or a lawyer as many other Asian mothers did. I am confident in the major I have chosen, because she let me pick any future career as long as I am happy with it. Therefore, I am making an effort to become a professional accountant to continue her dream career that she could not accomplish because of the Vietnam War. Without my mom’s support, I would not have overcome obstacles such as my struggle with language and schoolwork when I first came to the U.S. Although my mother never says sentimental words like “I love you,” I can feel her love is strong through her devotion and care toward me.

I have followed her example by caring for the ones I love. First, I try to prove that I can take good care of myself from the small tasks like cleaning my own room to the important responsibility of doing well in school. Then, because my parents work tedious and long-hour jobs, I try to create a warm environment at home by having dinner ready when they come home. When they feel tired or have pains, I massage until they feel comfortable. Furthermore, being a role model for my younger sister is also my significant responsibility, including helping her with her homework and giving her useful advice when she struggles with her problems. These are just petty things I am able to do now to show my parents that I always care, value, and love them. However, in the next seven years, when I have a stable job, I plan for my whole family to live together in a little house purchased by my own savings so that my parents can enjoy their lives instead of working to support the family.

However, it is very selfish of me to love only my own family. Love is more meaningful when I extend it to my community. In my neighborhood, I volunteer to tutor children when they need help on their homework because I experienced how difficult schoolwork was when I just arrived to the U.S. Furthermore, I like to donate my little savings to charities for victims of the flood in Vietnam and of the hurricane in the States. Once, when I saw two people who represented the church carrying boxes to raise funds for victims of the flood in central Vietnam, I took out all the money I had in my purse, put it in these boxes. I hoped victims would have a better life.

Love is vitally important. Without love, neither peace nor happiness can be attained. Personal relationships fail; businesses go bankrupt; leaders become corrupt; and wars break out. Love is a powerful force for good, and can overcome many of life’s most unpleasant trials and challenges. That is because I believe in love.