This I Believe

Noelle - West Lafayette, Indiana
Entered on January 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • 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.

Family Ties

I believe that family is the foundation of every person’s character. You might just think that they taught you to tie your shoes or clean up after yourself, but family has a lot more to teach. They may teach you that life is meant to be lived, hard work is the key to success, or the value of a good deed. Each and every one of my family members taught me something that I still believe in and use to this very day.

My Great Grandmother taught me to live each day like it was your last. Her philosophy for life was first-class. The glass was never half empty, it wasn’t even half full. Her glass was overflowing. She had an appreciation for every little detail in life, from the beautiful fall leaves to the delicious pork chops. When she gave you a bear hug, (which she did often, even at the age of 99) it felt like you were her favorite person in the world. When she asked, “How are you?” She truly meant it; she wanted to know about you. Anyone who has met her will tell you what a remarkable woman she was and still continues to be. She has touched many lives with her zest for life and will forever live on in our hearts.

My mom taught me to be a strong person. She is the first person I call for every success and failure, she is my support system. I applied for National Honors Society when I was in high school. I worked hard to get glowing reports from teachers and prove I was good enough. I was not accepted because I had made a small mistake. My mom sat me down and told me she hadn’t gotten in her junior year either. Even when I thought I had failed, she had faith. She taught me to persevere and believe in myself. My senior year we knew the routine by heart. I triple checked every piece of paper and made a daily visit to my teachers to see if they had turned in their reports. Not only did I get in that year, I learned that it’s okay to fail, as long as you continue to believe in yourself.

My dad taught me to respect. He always plays the gentleman, which taught me to be personable and kind. He opens every door, pushes in every chair, pulls the car up to every entrance, and helps with everyone’s coats. If we go to someone’s house, we always take off our shoes, even if they tell us differently. These small “gentlemanly” things aren’t just to show chivalry. They show compassion.

I have been fortunate to know, let alone be related to these wonderful people. They have taught me life lessons that inspire me to be a good person. My loving family has molded me to be the person I am today, and for this I will be forever grateful.