This I Believe

Jenna - Goshen, Indiana
Entered on November 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
  • 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.

I believe in my family, my whole family. Mom and dad, brother and sister, grandma, aunts and uncles, and cousins; all these people have made me who I am today. My family has influenced me in every aspect of my life. When I go out in the world, I represent not only myself but my family.

I believe that I learned many life skills from my family. Everyone one in my family stands as a role model for me in one way or another. My parents have taught me discipline, manners, and respect. They also taught me that no matter what happens in life, I should keep my faith and trust in God. My brother and sister, well, they taught me a lot of things, like how to get into trouble! However, they also taught me how to stick up for myself, and that if I want my voice to be heard, sometimes I’m going to have to speak; very loudly. I got my kindness and caring from my dear grandma, who always went out of her way to spoil me. Spending time with my cousins gives me the ability to work well with others and adapt to new rules and lifestyles, and my aunts and uncles have always taught me how to have fun and be myself.

My family also gives me the gift of love and security. We always have a good time together and we share many traditions. I have always treasured holidays with my family. Every year we go to my grandma’s house for Christmas. We have a wonderful turkey and ham dinner followed by delicious desserts, such as, my grandma’s homemade apple salad. We sit and eat; laughing while we catch up on all the latest news. Then we gather around the tree and exchange our gifts for each other. Looking back, I think it’s odd how sharing simple material gifts with each other could put such excitement in one room. However, when I reflect on it, it wasn’t the gifts that made the room buzz with excitement, but it was the love that we all felt for each other. After that we would play games and watch movies and, of course, try out our new toys. I remember feeling so safe and secure in my life, when I could see my whole family laughing and sharing good times together. To me, there is no other feeling like this in the world.

My family makes my world go round. In everything I do, I want to make them proud of me. I feel it is my duty to them, to take what they have given me and make it useful in the world. I want to touch the world in the same way my family has touched me, and make a positive difference. I am very thankful to my family for loving me and giving me memories that I can remember and cherish forever.

For some people, family comes in another form. Sometimes family may be too far away to influence us or maybe the family is broken for some reason. Some people may have to rely on their friends for support and love. We don’t all experience life in the same way, and I realize that for some people, family might be the reason not to go home. I try to never take what I have for granted because I understand that not everyone was blessed with a close, loving family like mine.

I know I am very fortunate to have such a big family that can provide for me. I have always had a secure life and I am thankful. It is amazing that, no matter how busy life gets, my family can always find time if I’m ever in need. I know they will always be there for me, its something I can count on. In the end, it’s simple, I believe in my family because they believe in me.