This I Believe

Andrew - Street, Maryland
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, legacy, nature
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Carrying on a Tradition

In grade school, I had an assignment to interview an older family member. I interviewed my great-grandmother – Granny. What Granny said was, her father made this land his own and that she and her husband then made this land theirs. She also said that she hoped that the rest of us will continue on with this tradition. To this day I have not forgotten her story, and I trust that a part of her still lives on in me and the rest of my family. I know her story continues on and also continues to grow because I, like my mother and father, are a part of that story.

Times have changed from when my great-grandmother’s father built his home, but the traditions of that land have remained. With houses rapidly increasing around us, we stayed the same. Yes, some traditions have changed: horses have been replaced with tractors and instead of harvesting grain we now harvest trees. Though some traditions have changed, some traditions will always remain. The traditions of hard work, sacrifice, and reliance upon on nature will always continue. These traditions will continue because without them we will fail. We will fail if traditions are not kept, it is known what will work on this land, and we should not ignore what those before us have proven.

It is in this story that the traditions of my past have paved the way for our futures. Even though each of our paths is separate they are close. It is a story which has taken place on the same land for five generations. It is a story of pulling our livelihood from this land. Like my great-grandmother’s past, my father and mother have made their future from the land. As past parents in the family, my mother and father have taught my brother and I to respect our elders and the land from which we live.

I am 22 and finishing my educational career soon. Recently many are asking what I will do with my life; will I go home and work or take a job for another company. I had made the decision long ago that I would come home to help lessen the burden on my family, and follow the family tradition. Only in the past few weeks has this decision been questioned. Many people have suggested that I work for others for the experience, before returning home. While they have a strong point, I believe that I should continue the tradition. When I do return home I will strive to achieve what those before me have accomplished. I will carry on the tradition of farming and family, for the five generations before me.

This is why I believe, that tradition is what builds a person.