This I Believe

Vivian - san antonio, Texas
Entered on June 12, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, respect
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My mother always tells me that I won’t understand her until I am a mother. This irritates me. It makes me feel like she just says this in order to avoid explaining her values/beliefs to me. I find myself growing older and wiser by the minute. I’m more understanding towards her, but there are still things I disagree with. Maybe it’s because I am not a mother.

My mother’s name is Teresa and she the most genuine, incredibly kindhearted person ever! (Whose mom isn’t?) The question that I asked my mom was, “What is the most important message or belief that you hope I will take with me and remember throughout my adult life?” Her answer was very altruistic. She showed much concern for my interests. I was sure she would say success or money, but she said respect. She said that she wanted me to have respect for myself and others. Coming from a traditional Mexican family, respect is always emphasized and this was no exception. She believes that only if you have respect for yourself can you have respect for others, and that this respect will give people a different impression of you. When I was younger I would get mad at her for telling me that because I simply did not care what anyone thought of me. I soon came to the realization that other peoples’ opinions were important because I depend on them for employment, for education and success, and for compassion. She also said that with self respect, no one can bring me down and that I could cross any obstacle in my way.

Another thing she mentioned was her support. She said that I could always count on her no matter what and to remember where I came from. I know this to be true, but to actually hear it gives me a sense of relief. I believe that parents should stand behind their children even if they do not necessarily believe what their child is doing is right. I cannot stress this enough. Parents need to be there for support and encouragement, whether it is to keep them going or to change their path.

My mother’s sincerity makes a big difference in my point of view and in my life. Even when she makes mistakes, I know that they are done with good intentions and that she is a human being (“To err is human; to forgive is divine.” –Alexander Pope). There are many things that as a child I did not agree with. I try to understand her reasoning, but this is easier said than done. Overall, I believe with what she wants me to bear in mind. All she wants is for me to be happy and have respect. I know that she always has my back. I think that it is very important for a person to have respect and remember those who stood by them, especially their mothers.