This I Believe

Greg - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on February 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

My family has never been one with many struggles, but we’ve always had to overcome difficulties to continue believing in our customs and what we think is right. I’ve had to do this for myself many times. I believe that everyone should be able to celebrate their beliefs how they see fit, and practice them wherever they want in any environment. Those who refute their ideas can choose to argue, but shouldn’t interfere with one another’s beliefs.

Both sides of my family are Jewish by background, encountering antisemitism in addition to the difficulties of coming from a disadvantaged household. Both sides came from a relatively poor family before them. But each generation, the children improved upon the parents and they were usually, if not always, more successful. Successful, however, is a word that can have many meanings depending on who you’re talking to. Successful can mean monetary wealth, and the freedom to buy whatever you feel is necessary to your success. Successful can also mean happiness in life, just as much as it can mean having a successful family with a stable place to live. My family’s beliefs have always been geared towards having a successful life and being able to sustain a family.

These definitions, however, all have one thing in common. They are impossible to achieve without some semblance of a belief in something or someone. They are

impossible to attempt unless you have some idea beforehand of your beliefs in success. From my family’s humble beginnings, we’ve always had our beliefs in what we wanted and how we strived for them. They’ve guided us through many hardships, and led my family’s perseverance many times over. Nothing my family has done has been without some sort of guiding principle. Without our beliefs, we couldn’t have accomplished what we believe is, and will continue to be, a great success.