Ever since I was young and started to ponder about my future career, my mother and father always told me that I can be whatever I wanted to be no matter what, whether it be a garbage man or a heart surgeon. They would always support me and be willing to guide me in whatever direction I was heading to keep me out of trouble. However, they preach to me everyday what I believe is the most important life lesson: “Never forget where you came from.” As I was told this almost everyday, I would sit wherever I was and think about what that really meant, and it is this quote I believe.
When my father was finished with college, he started working at my grandfather’s chemical business as a plant worker, not making a lot of money. He worked very hard to buy a house and marry my mother and eventually start a family. My mother worked equally as hard through college at DePaul University and also found a job in order to help my father start their lives together.
Moving forward twenty years to present time, my father worked his way up to becoming president of the company and living a life he dreamed of as a young person like myself. My mother also works in his office as his secretary. They both became successful individuals with a great family and a comfortable lifestyle. Even though their lives have changed dramatically, they still act the same way they did since I was a toddler.
At first, I was amazed how they didn’t get sucked into the materialistic part of life. They don’t buy very expensive cars or jewelry. Usually with a lot of money, comes more material items. People start to buy foreign cars, spend hundred dollars a plate for dinner, or buy two-thousand dollar Armani suits. However my parents still lead simple lives. My father only buys American cars and gives a 15% tip when he goes to a fancy restaurant. My mother continues to buy “knock-off” purses and clothes instead of designer brands. They still act the same way they did twenty years ago. My mom will make better friends with a waitress at the country club rather than the members.
With my age, also came my interest in medicine. My dream is to become a surgeon and hopefully start my own practice someday. Even though my father is proud of my future career and college choices, but while still proud my mother worries about me. She doesn’t want me to get tied up with material items and money. She wants me to do something because it makes me happy, not for the money. They both stress the importance of family and how no matter where you go in life you should always remember your roots and the strong base that got you to where you are.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.