This I Believe

Tyler - Champaign, Illinois
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in family. Not just my immediate family or my extended family down to the very last fourth cousin whom I might be somehow related to through three marriages, but the idea of family in general. The idea of family is very broad. A family can be as small as two people, or it can be as large as in the millions, such as the soldiers who fight for our country.

Family is where our lives start and end. It is the foundation on which our country was founded: families fleeing Europe in hopes of better lives for each other. Most importantly: family molds who we are. Kids grow up wanting to be like mommy and daddy. We learn to not make mistakes not only from our own experience, but also from experiences of our parents and grandparents. Family is the light that guides us in dark times, and it is the cushion that breaks our falls.

I have grown up in a very small family: Mom, Dad, four cousins on my dad’s side of the family and one cousin on my mom’s side of the family, no brothers or sisters. When I was younger, I never really thought about what my family meant to me. Though I love each and every one of them, I never really thought about how important the relationships within a family really are. That all changed when I came to the University of Illinois.

When that happened, I was on my own and did not see my family as often as I use to, I realized how much they did for me and how much they meant to me. Family is the reason I am going to the U of I. My father especially, worked a miserable job his whole life so that I may have it better than he did. My mother spends an hour a day driving to and from work so that I may have it better than she did. These people who have helped make my life so wonderful ask nothing in return of me. I believe that no matter what happens or what I do, that my family will always be there.