This I Believe

Jack - Traversee City, Michigan
Entered on May 23, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, gratitude
  • 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.

The Value of Family

Growing up in a family of five and being the oldest of three siblings, life is not always the easiest. I, along with many others I assume, have at one point or another been guilty of uttering the worlds “I hate this family!” One night four years ago, when I was a freshman in high school, my parents grounded me because I was not focusing on school enough, or so they said and my grades were suffering as a result. I was sitting in my room thinking to myself “the Dingeman family is so much stranger than everyone else!” My dad had his sarcastic dry jokes which he thought were the next best thing since sliced bread. My mom, who was always on the go, thought she knew what was best for me in absolutely every situation. My brother and sister were always nagging me and my dog daisy was constantly barking at everything. Sounds like a pretty hard life huh? That is exactly what I believed then but now four years later, I view my family with a completely different perspective. With college right around the corner, I will admit that I am scared and part of me does not want to leave my family behind.

Throughout the past four years I have discovered something extremely valuable and that is that my family is by far one of the greatest gifts I have. In the past I have taken so much for grated but now I am thankful for everything my family has done. They have dealt with me, the one person who four years ago, I thought was the only normal part to my insanely annoying family. What I have learned is that a family does not consist of just one person. A family is defined as parents and their children forming as a group. Like it or not I am a Dingeman, and what I have learned is that everyone goes through life having unique experiences and no two families are alike. We have shared many great times, like my acceptance to college as well as many sad times such as the death of my grandfather. What is important is that we are always there for one another. Everyone in our family has helped each other cope with situations, good or bad, in their own ways. I may have been frustrated with my family and the way they have acted in the past, but we have built an amazing relationship which I now cherish today.

Yeah, maybe we are a little bit different but whose family really is perfect? I add to the craziness of my family just as much as everyone else does. Through many rollercostering ups and downs, or as we like to say “Dingmania’s,” each and every experience my family and I have had has shaped us to who we are today. I feel that my family is almost like a best friend; we grow together, and share many amazing memories. This I believe is why the value of a family is so important.