This I Believe

David - Monongahela, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 20, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, gratitude

Many, many years ago two men embarked on an adventure of epic proportions. The men left from separate places, each knowing nothing about the journey of the other man. They left their families to travel to a foreign place where they anticipated success. This unfamiliar place had many freedoms and possibilities. With little money and unstoppable motivation, they arrived in the new world. The families of these men later joined them. Decades later, two of their descendants met and married. Before long, this couple had a family. Since I am the son of this couple, I believe, as did those who came before me, that family is essential to life.

Why did my ancestors leave their home and friends to go to a distant land? They did it for their families. They cared more for their current and future families than they cared for themselves. Their desire to promote and strengthen their families has stood the test of time and is alive and well in my family.

My family immensely cares for me. My mother is not only someone who will drive one hour each way to do my laundry while I am at work, but also the person who cares more for me than herself. My father is not only someone who will stay up all night to make sure I arrive home safely, but also the person who cares more for me than himself.

Do my family members simply love me because that is what they are supposed to do, or do they love me because of who I am? Is my survival dependent on the fact that I have people to take care of me? Is it a science or an emotion? Did my family make the conscious decision to show unconditional love for me, or was it ingrained in them from their parents and the parents of generations past.

I am here because two men roughly a century ago risked everything for the love of their families. I do not know what motivation caused my mother to take days off of work to be with me when I was sick. I do not know why my father spent countless hours at my various sporting events. However, I do know one very important thing that guides the majority of what I do. I know that family is imperative. I know that without my family I would not be half the person I am today or will become tomorrow. I know that I believe in family. This I believe…