This I Believe

Tiffany - virginia beach, Virginia
Entered on April 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Pride, Love, and Generosity

To become individuals we need foundations. These consist of values passed on from family, learned in school, or taken from life experiences. They shape who we are, the decisions we make, and influence the lives of those around us. It’s difficult to maintain our values in a world with many conflicting views, but standing by them is what gets us through life. The main values that make me who I am today are pride, love and generosity.

Pride: a word often perceived as negative. Some view it as a sin; I think it essential. Pride in one’s self allows a person to do anything. I was taught by my parents to own everything I do and to take pride in it. Because of this, I do my best to do well in school. I received a scholarship because of the pride I take in my work, and continue to make dean’s list every semester. My pride in my work is a reflection of myself, and I need to be proud of myself. This pride has helped develop a young girl into a self-sufficient adult. In a world where accomplishment is everything, I believe this value will continue to take me far.

Love is a force in my life too. In this time when war is happening, people are poor and hungry, and when life just doesn’t seem entirely fair it may seem difficult to love. I grew up in a home that only knew love. My parents have been happily married for twenty five years and have shown nothing but love to my sister and me. They taught us to give that same love to others unconditionally everyday by giving respect and kindness. I continue to learn that life changes so quickly, and fortunes can turn, so the only thing that everyone can continually count on is love and support from those around us.

Lastly, the principle of generosity has shaped my life greatly. I’m young and already feel that I have returned a lot. I’m not wealthy, so my generosity doesn’t come in the form of checks placed in envelopes at church on Sunday. That’s not the essence of generosity anyways; it’s about sincerity and caring about those you are helping. I went on a mission trip to central Virginia during high school to repair homes for poor families, and one year I volunteered by tutoring at risk children in reading. These things didn’t require a monetary donation; they required the generosity of time and dedication to making a difference. I know that personal, up close generosity can help us embody pride in our community, and can aid us in loving our neighbors sincerely. Generosity doesn’t simply stop at a man’s wallet, it must reach his heart.

All three of these are really about one: love. I must love myself, love others, and show that love everyday of my life. This will make me the best person I can be.