Personal beliefs do not emanate from thin air and do not turn up one day in an individual’s head. Personal beliefs are shaped from a meaningful event in one’s life or an inspirational group of people or person. My individualized beliefs were derived from a combination of both of my parents.
My parents are what some would say, complete opposites, Dad is outspoken and extremely opinionated, (often stubborn), and Mom is very soft spoken and kind-hearted to everyone. Both personality styles have their pros and cons: on Dad’s defense he is 100% sure of his beliefs, however, is not always willing to learn about the strengths of opposing opinions; and on Mom’s defense she is 100% willing to acknowledge another’s opinion, however is hesitant on standing strong with her own thoughts. Growing up with both of my parents’ guidance I have evolved into the woman I am today, with my own unique personality and my own unique values and beliefs.
Having a father that believed that it was “his way or no way”, and “his beliefs were the ‘right’ beliefs” had originally caused me to be extremely skeptical and taught me to think before I said spoke out loud. Having a mother who would be willing to listen to anyone’s opinions and take them to heart, provided me with a safe person to share my opinions to, especially if they were contradictory to others’.
I slowly learned that I didn’t want to hold the belief that my opinions were the right opinions and remain close-minded, (like my dad), and I also didn’t want to hold the belief that everybody else’s thoughts were perfectly legitimate for themselves however not have a really opinion of my own, (like my mom). Somewhere in the middle is where I find myself. I find myself being extremely open-minded to others beliefs while being secure and faithful to my own morals and beliefs. I am willing to accept another individual’s point of view and look for strengths as well as weaknesses to their arguments. However, I am not willing to give up or loosen my morals and beliefs if they are ridiculed or criticized.
Both of my parents are extremely intelligent, loving individuals and everything that I haven’t been taught in the classroom I have learned from them, my values and beliefs being one of them. I am proud to be aware of where my values have come from and proud that they have come from such inspirational people in my life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.