The Importance of Family

Erin - Walkersville, Maryland
Entered on August 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
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Families, in general, are a major part of happiness in life and can determine just how high or low that happiness may be. They are the foundation of a person’s character and give insight into one’s true self. I simply wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for my family; consisting of my mom, dad, and two older brothers Kenny and Sean. They are my reassurance, a safety net I know I can rely on, and the ones who I can trust. Those three things alone make me grateful because I know not everyone is as fortunate. I’ve seen some of my closest friends’ families torn apart by drug abuse, an unwillingness to resolve miscommunications, and distrust. However one classifies a family, whether it is their closest friends, mothers, fathers, grandparents, etc. – they all share a common feeling. That common feeling is a connection, a comfort zone, and a place where one can feel like they belong. When I was younger my brothers and I fought constantly. The fighting was mainly because of our age difference. Five years separates the eldest and me, and I never understood why it was so difficult to get along with them. Despite our bickering I was always so proud to talk about them whenever possible. As I got older I started to, in a sense, walk in their shoes. I could understand more clearly what they were going through; for example, the types of problems a sixteen-year-old faces as opposed to an eleven-year-old are much different. This explains why I wasn’t so openly invited to be a part of their world. I’ve come to realize they were the ones who stood up for me and kept a protective watch on people I might interact with, strictly having my best interest in mind. Now we can talk to each other on a similar level and share more common interests. Having this understanding allows the entire family to strengthen its relationship and become closer as a result.

Being back at school I realize how I need family more than ever. Students are virtually on their own aside from friends or any community involvement, but those are extra efforts people have to make to retain that sense of belonging. I’m reminded of a quote when I think of my own family that states, “If you don’t have family, ya got nothin’.” This not only relates to how highly I value family, but something to carry with me when making career choices. I plan to go into the world of business and it is commonly known as a manipulative money-driven atmosphere. To avoid compromising what I value I will take this idea with me as well as the lessons my parents have taught me through their own decisions. I admire my parents for how hard they’ve worked sacrificing so much for my brothers and I. Even the times I couldn’t stand their rules or justifications I realize now it was tough love. They’ve also managed to do so in a way that didn’t compromise their ethics and they’ve always worked hard to do what’s best. My parents have been consistent role models. This only gives me hope for when I have a family of my own; if times are difficult, I’ll still know the basic principles of what to teach my children and (hopefully) they can carry on a positive future. I’ve learned that it does not only matter where one wants to go in life, but where they come from, and the positive aspects in my life have come from within a loving family.