This I Believe

Robert - Greenwood, South Carolina
Entered on April 2, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: parenthood
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I believe in the power and influence of our parents in our lives. Let me explain.

In April 1999, I was devastated to hear about the events at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. I subsequently sat down and penned a letter to our local newspaper. It was a call to action—about what each of us could do to prevent such an horrific incident in our town. Over the last eight years, I have written over 125 articles detailing what I believe can truly make a difference. I became committed to providing positive advice under what I termed the Five Steps to Community Improvement. These Steps are 1) Learn to be the best parent you can be, 2) Get involved, 3) Stay involved, 4) Love for your fellow man, and 5) Forgiveness. All of these steps are mandatory for positive things to happen in any community.

When my mother died in 2002, I was humbled to learn that my journey into self-improvement and promoting a positive agenda for community improvement was a journey started by my mother. She planted the right seeds for me by her own words and deeds. I now know that what I believe can be attributed to my mother. Her positive beliefs have unknowingly become my beliefs.

I close this essay with an excerpt written by my mother in 1968. It was read at her memorial service and serves as a beacon for the way forward.

Dear Father in Heaven, every night as I strive for sleep, my mind accelerates to a fast pace, and then I feel I must write what I feel.

Today, as I read about the Vietnam War, and all the brave men

fighting to make the world a better place to live in, the civil

rights stress, and the death of the great Martin Luther King, and the tremendous rebellion’s of today’s youth, and drugs becoming an everyday nightmare – all these distressing things, plus the mad scramble for just survival and trying to conquer adversities which are with us daily – I wonder what we can do as individuals to try and make the world a much better place to live in?

This can be achieved, (and it will be a slow process), I pray,

with the bettering of our own individual lives. For when one

person betters himself morally, and spiritually, and emotionally,

he, in turn, can influence the power of good over evil, kindness

over cruelty, and love, the most important of all, over hate,

bigotry, and just a general not caring at all attitude. Each kind word and act will help. The more we think of others, and how we can help them, the less selfish we become, and the more we try each day, we can’t help but bring the power of the love of God to others.

The power of the influence of our parents is incalculable. They can provide the platform for our actions and the actions of generations to come.

Thank you, Mom.