This I Believe

William - Paducah, Kentucky
Entered on September 9, 2008
Age Group: 65+
Themes: family, legacy


I believe that I am the person I am because of my mother and father.

I believe that whatever I have accomplished in my lifetime of worth, and may yet accomplish, is primarily the result of the gifts given to me by my family.

The greatest of these gifts are the sense of self worth and the self esteem which have allowed me to choose some of the difficult paths I have followed in my life. I believe there is no greater gift parents can give to their children than a strong sense of their unique value.

Although as a child I was not conscious of this, looking back I realize I was raised to feel loved and to feel good about who I was. My parents guided me with a gentle hand, placed loosely on my shoulder.

My parents taught me about love; they taught me about tolerance and forgiveness, and they taught me about humility. They showed me that a person of worth treats everyone with the same respect and warmth, and that behavior towards other people is determined by their very humanity and not by their social position or importance. I have since come to realize that to do this one needs that solid sense of self, a self worth not propped up by inappropriate pride, but a sense of self that deflects pretensions.

They never spoke about these beliefs, they simply lived them because that is who they were; that is the only way they knew to be. My mother and father showed me their beliefs and their values by living them, day in and day out.

My parents are gone (My mother died in December, 1991, and my father in the autumn of 1995.), and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of them. I believe my life is a reflection of those two remarkable people, and I want it to be worthy of them

I believe it has been my great priviledge and responsibility to live my life honoring my parents’ gifts to me, and to pass these gifts on to my children and loved ones.

I believe all of this with every fiber of my being.