This I Believe

Amber - Trenton, Georgia
Entered on September 16, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, place
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in living a country life. Many people think I’m not capable of holding a belief as strong as I do simply because I’m young. True, I’ve only been alive 19 short years, but that’s been long enough to form my opinion.

Why is the world always in such a hurry? It seems like people are always running and never slow down. I grew up coming home to a loving family everyday. We always sat around the dinner table telling stories from our day, not grabbing hamburgers from the local drive-thru restaurant.

What happened to pinto beans, “taters,” and cornbread? It seems like the whole world is on a diet. Potatoes are too “starchy” and cornbread has too many carbs. I grew up eating home grown vegetables (from the garden in the back yard) along with cornbread and potatoes, and there’s nothing wrong with me.

Why do people really have to lock their doors? I actually came home yesterday to an unlocked home. I feel completely safe without the locks because of the respect our community has for other people.

Why do people lie and cheat? Sometimes I think about how different the world would be if everyone was reared the way I was. I was taught that your reputation is all you have in life and you’re the one responsible for it. Honesty and trust were stressed to me as a child.

What happened to the small town atmosphere? My town is considered very small compared to most, but it has grown by leaps and bounds in the past ten years. Everybody knows everybody else. My parents and my best friend’s parents were friends in high school. Hatred is usually kept to a minimum and friendliness is something you can expect to find anywhere you go.

What happened to the word “family?” Most people think of family as parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, or cousins. These are usually people that they see only a few times a year, usually on special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Family means so much more to me. I’m so close to my parents, grandparents, and all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I live next door to an aunt and uncle and across the street from my “Maw-maw.” The whole family gets together at least once a week for a big family dinner (one that most people only find at Thanksgiving). Family isn’t limited to strictly relatives; it can also mean close friends (the one’s that might as well be relatives).

What happened to sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch at the end of a stressful day? What happened to learning how to drive a straight shift in daddy’s old 1978 Ford Bronco (like I did)? I think back on my childhood and realize how blessed I really am. Most people don’t have the same opinion as me, and I realize that. My life is made complete by the country sky and all it’s stars; others may like the hustle and bustle of city life. I’m so thankful for the simple country life that I’ve lived.