The Way I See It

Jason - Boise, Idaho
Entered on June 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the value of being an individual. All my life I have been influenced by three different cultures. My father is from London, England. My mother is from Sydney, Australia. And, of course, I live in the United States. For the last 14 years of my life, I have had long distance communication with both sides of my family, and sometimes face to face contact. Every time we talk, I get critiqued on every aspect of my life. Each side of the family tries to tell me which way is right. Whether it be that I say a word incorrectly, or I play the wrong sport, or I eat the wrong food. For Example, if I wrote the word center and spelled it c-e-n-t-r-e my English and Australian families would praise me, but I would be rejected by the American culture. Or if I used the word soccer instead of football, I would be rejected by the English and Australian cultures, but I would be accepted by the American culture. When I was eleven years old I was traveling in Australia, and I happened across a town with my parents and I pronounced the town as Gosford instead of Gosferd. It was a word that I would regeret saying fort the rest of my life because I haven’t heard the end of it since. Some of my family still refer to me as the Gosford boy. It is events like these that influence me to conform to my families teachings.

It is very tough to be involved with three different cultures. Since I have an American accent, I am known as the “Yank” overseas (and that is not always a good thing). But when I am in America, people think I am backwards because I was born “down under”. People seem to think that your culture defines you. Americans think I wrestle crocs and put shrimps on barbecues. And English and Australian people think that I am a Republican and that I enjoy hunting. Both of which are very untrue. Through my experiences with all three cultures, I have come to believe that none of them are correct. There is no correct way to pronounce the word tomato and there is no correct way to spell center. I have come to realize that I should decide which way feels correct for me, not my family. It is better for me to be an individual and please myself, than please my family by conforming to their ways.