This I Believe

Rafael - Goshen, Indiana
Entered on May 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe struggle makes me a better person. I believe there’s a reward at the end. I believe that after it all, I can look back and be proud of what I went through.

Why do I think struggle is actually good? It is because it tests my beliefs, principles, and ideas. Being the child of immigrant parents, I have seen what it’s like to struggle in a strange and new place. They moved to the United States when they were in their twenty’s, leaving behind the place where they grew up and knew so well. It was in Chicago, Illinois, where they decided to stay, but it was not the best place to raise children. After I was born, my dad worked long hours while my mom stayed at home.

Throughout all of this, I saw my father come home from work tired after working two shifts when I was young. I saw my mother clean, wash, iron, mop, cook, and take my sister and I to school each and every day. One thing I have never saw, however, was a hint of sadness, fear, or regret in their faces. They have faced so much in their lives moving here and never gave up simply because they wanted a good place for us. I think this is how struggle should be faced, without fear, simply moving forward. Seeing this happen in front of me is how my belief was formed.

It is also through this struggle that I began to understand that there’s a reward to all of this and it’s different for everybody who faces struggle. For my parents, it was to be able to provide a comfortable environment for us. This reward does not need to be a definite one. It can be that you are able to look back and learn from what you went through, and use this knowledge on future occasions when you need it most.

As I look back at all the sacrifices that my parents made to provide their children, I can say that I’m proud of them. This is what I believe.