This I Believe

Jennifer - cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: immigrant, legacy
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I can’t say that I am wise beyond my peers or that my opinion was violently changed by someone or something. For the most part my life has gone smoothly and I learn small things everyday that builds my personality and views. In this way everyone is different. The experiences a person goes through affects there reasoning when they make a choice. I believe that the choices people make everyday affect the future and outcome of everything.

The origin of my family is not the United States. During World War II my Grandpa Rudy and his twin Jerry were living Prague, Czechoslovakia. They made the choice to sneak out every night and help the Jews escape the Nazi’s. This choice put their family in danger, even though they probably saved many lives. They both decided to come over to the United States; this would be the solution to their problems. My Grandpa Rudy ended up in Chicago, Illinois and his Twin Jerry ended up in New York, New York. They made the decision to leave their immediate family for their safety and preference of government. If they would have stayed over there they might have been killed. If they were killed my Dad’s side of the family would have never been exposed to the United States. Then my Dad wouldn’t exist, much less meet my mom. So I wouldn’t exist either. All of this came with one decision to leave a country. My Dad’s mom also came from a different country. Her parents grew up in Croatia. When they were married they had my aunt Violet and after a while they made the decision to move over to America. This is where they had my Aunt Pat and Grandma Barbara. If they would have never moved Barbara and Rudy would have never met or carried on to make my family.

All my life I have been sincerely interested about my heritage. I use all the questions I ask and stories I hear to put everything together. These decisions my relatives made have already affected the choices I make. Back in eighth grade I decided to take German for my high school language, because my Grandpa spoke it fluently. That choice lead me to meet friends I value today and have experiences I look back on. The reason I am here today and live where I am is because of my ancestors and the adults around me. When they make decisions they mold my life and theirs. Even small decisions like giving a dollar to a beggar can change a course of a life. That dollar could save them from starving, or it could dig them deeper into their addiction. If they died because you gave them that dollar and child could become an orphan, or a teenager could learn a lesson. In this view I don’t believe in fate. Fate is the word we use for what happens because of the choices and actions that we make and take.