This I Believe

Judy - Beverly Hills, California
Entered on May 24, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Thank you, Mom.

I believe that it is a duty for every daughter and son to support themselves and their parents after they have graduated high school. Obviously, it is a parents’ job to provide everything for the child until they have finished high school, since the child is not able to take care of themselves, yet. After the child graduates from high school, the parents’ job of being a provider for the child is complete. At this point, the young adult needs to be independent and be able to take care of themselves. If resources permit, they should be able to support their parents economically, also. It is time to take the burden off of the parents’ shoulders. I may be inclined to have this belief due to being a Korean American characterized with the collectivist and hierarchical values of the Korean culture combined with independent values of the American culture. It may also be that I am the oldest daughter of a Korean single mother and reflecting back on how much my mother has provided for my sister and I, I feel that it is time that I need to return with gratitude and appreciation for what my mother has done.

My mother is an amazing woman. I am grateful to have her as my mother. When I was 3 years old and my sister was only 1 month old, my father had passed away. My mother was a widow at 31 years old. She was left all alone with two little kids to raise in a foreign country, in the city of Dallas, Texas, where she wasn’t even able communicate or understand the language. Shortly, my grandfather and grandmother asked my mother to move back to Los Angeles, California and live with them. Even with the social support of having my grandfather and grandmother next to my mother, I am sure that my mother had her own set of worries and pressures on how to raise her two daughters. She has worked hard throughout her life to make sure she provides everything that her daughters need, whether it is clothes, shelter, food, or education. My mother has worked at low paying jobs such as working at a photo shop and at a restaurant. Currently, she is very happy working as a caregiver for the elderly.

However, as a daughter, I feel horrible to think of my mother working at low paying jobs that offer minimum wage or a little above, so that she can provide for her daughters. It is just heart breaking. That is why I have determined that as a daughter, I want to be able to support myself, my mother, and my sister. Ever since the 2nd semester of high school until present day, I have been working. I have been working as a florist at a flower store, a salesperson at a famous chocolate store, a tutor and a babysitter for children in elementary through junior high school, and as an assistant at an office. The motivation that I had of working full time while I went to school full time was because of the belief that as a daughter, my duty was to support myself and my mother.