This I Believe

Anne - Mitchellville, Iowa
Entered on February 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: parenthood

Everything I believe in has somehow been influenced by my parents. A parent has an impact that makes or breaks the life it creates. Unfortunately, parents are people too, and too many people make mistakes. Of course, no parent is perfect either, but I believe that if every parent cared as much as mine do, the generations to come could create a better world.

There are so many ways in which most parents fail. Some fail at just a few, and some completely flunk out of their child’s life. Most people in the world are average. And they make average parents. These are the people who tap out and say, “You two work it out on your own,“ when their kids fistfight over the remote control. These parents begin to get lazy on autopilot and respond, “In ten minutes,” to every request their child makes. They are average people with average attitudes and tempers, that do not provide their children with as much as they could, forgetting their jobs as parents to teach morals and values. Emotional support is much more important to provide for a child than material wants. It is a shame when parents use money to make up for their lax parenting skills. Mother Teresa once said, “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

I am lucky that my parents are about as saintly as Mother Teresa. I have witnessed the way they live and the motto that rings true for me describing it is, “Do it anyway.” When people take advantage of you, do good anyway. Many people look at the material things my parents have been able to provide and dismiss our family as snooty. I appreciate the hard work and rough times my parents have put in to do as much as they can for other people, first in the family. My parents have always given my siblings and me freedom to make our own choices. By usually letting me come home “whatever time I feel is appropriate” and by leaving my grades almost completely in my own hands, they teach me to find value in doing things right. I value respect for my parents and the opportunity they have given me to be responsible. With their guidance, I am not afraid to make mistakes, because they are always there to steer me clear or help me through when they do happen. The way they live is to do as much good in the world as possible, and expect no acknowledgement or credit for it. The reward comes when the one person out of a thousand does not take advantage of you, but truly finds joy and appreciates what you have done for them. They work incredibly hard, and all just to help other people. My parents inspire me to one day do the same.