This I Believe

Sheila - Austin, Texas
Entered on January 12, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

Life has been extremely fair to me, a fact I acknowledge more each day and attribute to my parents. Unfortunately, I realize I have not treated my parents with the same level of fairness. Fortunately, an advantage of life is time and consequently receiving the opportunities to change and fix your mistakes. I believe life is telling me to give back to my parents.

As part of the first generation of my family to grow up in the United States, I developed a drastically different point of view from that of my parents. I also developed a negative attitude towards my own culture and, even worse, my own parents. I was always critical of them, frequently complaining about their, in my opinion, insane beliefs or my overly protected life, but eventually I began to realize how inconsiderate I was and most importantly, how wrong I was. Because I speak English fluently and grew up in the American culture, one which I value very much, I thought I was so smart. I thought my parents were incapable of understanding my perspective of life. For the longest time, I resented our differences of opinion and only became frustrated when I assumed my parents and I could never create a level of understanding.

While I do not believe in dwelling on the past, I regret being so lazy and so selfish. My parents never ignored me, even when I was being unreasonable, and I never fully appreciated their unwavering attention to me, neglecting to help them when I should have. I often showed my frustration when I was asked to do something simple such as proofreading a piece of writing or acting as a translator, because they are not fluent in English. I am embarrassed to admit that I would whine and groan, then remind my parents they have another daughter. All they asked for was maybe five minutes of my time, and I was too busy living the luxurious life I have because of them.

I am absolutely aware that my parents spoil me. They gave me a cell phone; they gave me a laptop; they gave me a car. I listed only materialistic objects, but it is obvious my parents, who came to America with nothing, love me enough to work tirelessly in order to provide me with the luxuries they never had. By taking a step back and being aware of everything my parents have done, I realized it is time to grow up and show some real respect.