This I Believe

Jasmine - Little Rock, Arkansas
Entered on September 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • 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.

A Person Is Defined by Their Actions

Growing up I never really knew my father. He was never around, never wrote, called, sent Birthday cards, or did anything to show he cared about his abandoned child. By the time I finally put a face to my father’s name, I was 12 years old. When he first saw me all he kept saying was how things were going to be different from now on. At such a very delicate time in my life I believed him, not so much because he convinced me but because I needed him to be there for me. I had high hopes. I later learned his words to be only that, just words.

After our first acquaintance, I only remember one birthday card and one phone call for the next three years or so. His words were backed with little to no effort at all. Throughout my “relationship” or acknowledgment of my father, I only take heed to half of what he tells me and promises to me. I can’t trust my own father to do what he says he will do whether it’s a need or a want of mine. To me this shows what kind of person he truly is, regardless of what he tends to feed people. I think it’s very funny that when I was younger several of his closest friends use to tell me how great of a father he was. Those were all nice things to say about him, but I honestly have no proof of that. He has had so many opportunities to show how genuine and wonderful a father he is, but so many times has he failed to do so. He has yet to prove that our relationship now is any different than before we ever met. So I am yet to humbly call him my daddy instead of father.

On the other side of the fence was my mother. Throughout my entire childhood and the brink of my adulthood, she has been both my mother and father. She tried so hard to fill my void of having no father figure. Daily she made promises and they were kept. Often times there were expectations and hopes met that were yet to be promised to me. When it came down to it, my mother was a woman of few words but a woman of constant action. She got the job done and that’s what made me respect her as a person. Responsible, considerate, hardworking, determined, and persistent was my mother. I know this not because she tells me this, but because she shows me this everyday.

I believe that a person is defined by their actions and not their words. I can say all day everyday that I’m a great writer but until I write a good paper no one will ever know. We only use words to anticipate what is to come; the action is what backs those words up.