I grew up from a family of living standard so to speak. Be that as it may, I am proud to say that we were raised by our parents who were often described as the salt of the earth and the backbone of community. They were not equipped with high formal education but they possessed all the traits we know good parents ought to have – loving, committed to the task of raising their children with high expectations, and a positive sense of self-regard. We were told to study hard and we should not expect any material reward. They often reminded us about standard and values, developing good character and what it meant in the course of one’s life. They taught us how to make and evaluate decisions, when to cut our losses and walk away, and when to stick it out even in the face of adversity. They talked about being and becoming and not just having and getting. My father taught us how to avoid being fooled by others by our principles because he himself was a principled man. This was the only inheritance they could give us. The important things is that they taught us how to be good people and God-conscious though I should say that the rearing practices and the way they disciplined us were somewhat traditional in approach.
We were seven in the family and I am the fourth to the eldest. My father, a former government employee, passed away on the year 1997 while my mother passed away on the year 2009. At present, my elder brothers and sister are devoted parents and they are doing their best to raise their own family.
As fate would have it, my family was afflicted with a great misery when my father was gone to meet his Maker. I lost him three months before my graduation in college. I felt so confused finding the reason why he left me so suddenly. The feeling is hard to describe. A sense of of utter despair and emptiness got on my way. It was really so intense that I actually question the whole purpose and meaning of life. Who do I call when I’m feeling stuck? Who do I celebrate with when I am so successful? Who will be there to prod me, encourage me and remind me of how great I am and that what I am doing is wonderful? In difficult times, who will stand firm beside me and console me in every possible manner?
My hour of sadness was partially relieved by the presence of a couple of friends and close relatives who gave me sincere words of comfort. They even told me that the best way to honor his memory is to carry out all the plans he had for me. My father wanted me to be a lawyer. But this ambition was doomed to failure because nobody else would support me. Having left to tend for my mother and my younger siblings, I was forced to face the challenge of having both ends meet despite always being tired and never having enough time for my self not to mention my professional growth. I was left to face the struggles by myself like a sheep on a rainy winter’s night.
I started to work as a volunteer teacher in one of the prominent schools in town and was so excited about getting started. Without wishing to sound boastful, I got an attractive rating during the screening process. I was told by the school president that I am one of the deserving applicants who will be given top priority for an itemized teaching position. The first one year went so well but then I began to notice that something fishy was going on inside the College. During summer vacation, the items were secretly awarded to those teachers who were close relative of the president. I kept waking up to find that I’ve been drifting with the tide. I was trying just one more time picking myself up off the canvass after being knocked down time and again. I even had to double my effort by getting part time job so I could provide their basic needs. I even thought of going abroad but my mother begged me stay with them. Probably, one thing good in our family is that we stick together no matter what.
Of course, we went through a lot of problems. There were moments of misunderstanding as well as miscommunication. Anyway, I believe every family lives these things. But the point is, we always choose to be together through thick and thin even if sometimes our differences were between North and South. Yet through hard work and cooperation, we survived. Our priority is more on our family relationship, our love for each other above other material rewards that we can get.
My family is a God’s gift to me. It is where I learn to love, care and value myself and others. I grew up in a family that is based on love, cooperation and understanding.
I must accept that everything in the past happened for a purpose. This challenging situation that is causing me pain today has brought me great gift. I have made into the person I am today and it becomes the key to the person of greatness that I am becoming.