Living to a new place is one of the most challenging events that an individual can experience. Other individuals may find it very interesting for they can meet new set of people and friends, different challenges and it is a new environment to explore to. However, others may find it difficult to cope up; thus, they have the feeling of being lonely and struggle to exchange goodbyes to their circle of friends and to the place where they used to live in.
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I came to the states from Hong Kong for my education. My parents and I believe that United States has better educational system. I have been here since high school. Living in my own is quite difficult since I do things by myself; thus, my parents live in Hong Kong. I grow up in a Christian home and never forget to uphold the good morals and values.
My parents both believe that education is the sole wealth which they can leave me that no one can snatch or borrow. They always inculcate in my mind that I should do well with my studies and seize every opportunity that can build me up as a learner. Their motivations and encouragements really help me strive harder in order to achieve what I dream of. They let me understand the value of education and how education will help me reach the star.
Moreover, my parents’ educational backgrounds are very strong. Both of them finished their studies. My father is a PhD and my mom is a college graduate. Both of them experience difficulties in their studies, just like the other students, yet they have a fighting spirit that motivates them to press on and never quit trying and believing that one day they can be able to surpass the tests and trials they face as students. They really believe the importance of education that is why they always encourage my siblings and I to study more.
My parents are very diligent and hard workers. They understand the true value of work. They really work hard so that they can meet the needs of their children. My parents are good providers. They see to it that we live comfortably and are able to have our daily needs meet. They always look after us in spite of their hectic and busy schedules. Their works are not hindrance and reasons that they cannot perform their responsibilities and obligations as parents; thus, even though I am far from them because they are living in Hong Kong they always make sure to monitor my whereabouts by calling me every twice a month. Furthermore, they earn their money in a dignified way. My father has his own business and my mother runs a kindergarten school as a kindergarten supervisor.
In addition, my parents believe on the sanctity and sacredness of marriage. For them, marriage is not simply a civil contract binding man and woman to accomplish a task. It is the sanctified union of the souls of the spouses. The sanctity of marriage derives from the holiness of God who instituted it and from the honest surrender of man’s will to the natural law of his being. Indeed, man is directed by his nature to marriage without however being compelled to enter it out of necessity. The freedom of choice, even to enter marriage, belongs to the person. My parents’ beliefs motivate them to hold on and cherish what they have as husband and wife. They also want to be good models to us. Most marriages at present are not going well. Most of these marriages are victims of divorce and the children will be the one to suffer more because of their parents’ actions. To some degree, they lost their identity as person. This is the kind of scenario my parents would not like to happen to our family.
I have many plans for my future. I have many things in my mind that I would like to do after studying. But most importantly, I would like to extend a hand to my father. I know he labored so much for his business and I want to see myself helping him. Be a part of his business is such a fulfillment in my side. I strongly believe that this field will not only help me earn an income but would also be a tool for me to associate with different personalities. It will give me an opportunity to mingle with people who have different perceptions, strategies and styles when it comes to business. I also know my father will be happy if he can see me having a passion for our business where we get our bread and butter. In addition, being part of his business would make us closer as father and son.
In every family, there are always traditions that can keep the family united and happy. When I was still in Hong Kong and up to now, my family has a get together every Sunday. My parents will not go to work but instead would gladly be with us and go to church together as family. After going to church, we will dine together and will shop together or visit some amusement parks that would bond us together. But one of the traditions that my family keeps and I would like to pass on to the next generation is by throwing a huge party to any family member who celebrates his natal day. My mother is very good at this. She is always hands on to every detail of the event. My mother encourages my two siblings, my father and I to be very thoughtful and try not to forget to give a simple present to the celebrant. Each member of the family makes sure that the celebrant feels special and everyone of us would make an effort to make the special occasion a memorable one. Every family member treasures this practice because this is one of our ways of showing that we truly care. I would like this tradition to be passed on because it gives joy to an individual. Birthday is very important to every individual; so to celebrate it joyously will bring happiness.
For us, religion is very important. Like the family and the economy, religion is a universal and pervasive phenomenon, a part of the cultural system, because it is assumed to meet some basic need of human being. Religion is an integrated part of human experience and shows remarkable continuity through time. Even in the modern secularized societies in the West, religion has persisted and still exerts a great influence in the lives of people. Almost all known peoples in all places and times have some set of specific cultural patterns made up of beliefs and codes of conduct, tinged with emotional views, an explanation or justification of human behavior and social organization regarding the distribution of power between the leaders and the governed, the moral code, the distribution of wealth, or the success of some and failure of others may be found in religion. My parents, especially my mother, taught us that faith in God is very important. My mother is very religious, very active in other church activities and the one who really pushes us to go to church though my father is very lazy in attending Sunday services in the church. Just like my mother, my grandparents are also very religious. They never miss to go to church every Sunday. My parents and my grandparents actually meet in the church.
My personal perceptions with regards to religion are very much different from my mother and my grandparents. They believe that the Bible is for every individual and its principles can be applied to all ages and everything should works the same way as the word of God never changes and still the same yesterday, today and forever. But in my own opinion, I believe that the Bible was written to the older audiences so some of the concepts and rules do not apply to the world we are in today. An example of this is that, the Bible says that parents should train up their children to where they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it. As I have observed, most of the parents right now do not train their children to the right thing (excluding my parents). They fail to supervise their children. They just let their children talk back to them and allow them to do their own thing even though it is not right. Just like aborting a baby without a valid reason. They consent and condone their child’s immoral act by aborting the babies. I can say that because I have observed it. Another thing, the Bible also agrees that parents should not spare the rod in disciplining their children. But as you can see, parents here in the United
States are not allowed to discipline their kids by using a rod or else you will be thrown into prison. In addition to this, the Bible commanded the children to obey their parents for this is right and honor them so that we may live long. Yet, children nowadays are very disrespectful to their parents’ authorities.
My mother is my great motivator and has influenced me a lot when it comes to my faith. Though I have different perceptions about religion yet she was able to imprint in my heart that believing in God is very significant. It was my mother who taught me how to pray and how to obey and apply God’s words. She taught me how to pray because she believes that prayer is a way of communicating God. To her, prayer is a humble petition to God or some other divinity. Prayer is acknowledgment of man’s dependence on a superior power. According to my mother, man may pray for rain, the growth of his crops, or the increase of his flocks; he may plead for rescue from danger, recovery from illness, or victory in trials. On a higher level, man may ask for spiritual benefits and virtues, and may ask God reveal His will and word to him and his fellow men. She even told me that if ever I have a need, I should pray and ask God for it; because it is God who will supply our needs according to his glorious riches. My mother also added that prayer can move mountains and she explained to me that because of her faith and consistent praying to God, her dreams are achieved. She absolutely believes the power of prayers.
The strong religious beliefs of my mother and grandparents are not really a problem to us because we are already used to it and we all believe on it. But when I was young, there was an instance that I was questioning why we should need to go to church every Sunday. There was one Sunday morning I asked my mother if I could not go to church for that day because I have something to do and my circle of friends invite me to go to the beach and unwind. My mother did not allow me to go to because according to her Sunday is a Lord’s Day. I just cannot comprehend at that time why my mother is very devout with her beliefs. I told her that she should not tell me on what to do because I have my own mind. I am just annoyed of her being pushy when it is Sunday. She told me that I should put God first in everything
I do and not my friends. Another instance is when my siblings and I are too lazy to wake up early and my mother starts to yell on us so when can catch up the Sunday service. Other than that, there are no more issues at all.
Religion became very vital and significant in our growing years as siblings. Through religion, I was able to know that I do not just exist here on earth without a purpose but God created me for great purpose and I believe that God has perfect plans for me. It became a tool in knowing who my creator is and how to be close to him. In addition, it helps me understand my faith and practices involving the relationship between mankind and what it regards as scared. It gives me a point too that it is a private set of beliefs of only one person or it may be a shared set of beliefs of many. To some degree, I can associate religion with philosophy since both deals with such ultimate questions as the nature of the universe. Religion, however, unlike philosophy, normally requires that a person accept a certain body of beliefs and follow certain rituals and practices. Philosophy is primarily a search for understanding. When I was still a little child, I never realize how important religion is. Before, Sunday was even the worst day of the week because I am really oblige to wake up early as well as my other two younger siblings so that I will not be late for church. When I am in the church, while there was still preaching, I suddenly fell asleep and if I am not asleep, I talked to my seatmates and play around with them. I just really don’t understand and know what the purpose was until such time when I was like sixteen. Truly, the word of God did not come void because it accomplished something in my heart. When I was sixteen, I begun to believe the existence of God and proved to myself that God truly exist.
As what I have mentioned awhile ago, as a whole, religion became a real tool of my mother in disciplining us. Every time my two younger siblings and I committed mistakes, my mother talked to us in a nice manner with the word of God. She will ask us if what we are doing is pleasing to God or not. She never withholds the rod too, if ever our case is already heavy, in disciplining us because it is really come from the Bible. After spanking us, she will explain to us why she needs to do it and reaffirms how much she loves us. Moreover, among the members of my family, only my mother has a very strong foundation and faith to God. She never immediately gets discourage when things are not going well in our family. She has a proactive mind, telling us that God allows everything to happen for a purpose. She always has hope in God. My mother also advised and encouraged us to pray together as family; and not only that, but to pray without ceasing especially if we are in trouble or in a happy circumstance; Thus, learning to cast our cares unto the Lord. My mother also told us the need in going to church as family because she believes and would tells us that a family who prays together and go to church together will stay together though some of the members of my family are not really sold out to this idea especially my two younger siblings and father because they have the difficulty in waking up early every Sunday morning.
To me personally, religion plays an important role in my life. I learned to thank God even though circumstances are not in favored of me. Yes, it is very difficult to understand why things happen especially if we are hurt and down but I believe there is always light after darkness. I just tell myself that God wanted me to trust in him that is why he permitted circumstances to be that way. I know and believe that God is too wise to be mistaken; God is too good to be unkind. When I do not understand the things around me because I do not see and trace his hands, I have to trust his heart; thus. I have learned to be grateful to God in spite of the circumstances. Prayer became a part of my lifestyle. I have noticed too that when I am discouraged and start to praise and thank him, my strength is renewed. My heavy heart becomes light when I whisper a prayer to him. Truly, God is mighty and awesome. I cannot find enough words to describe his faithfulness and goodness to myself and to my family. I just cannot fathom how God sustains my family especially financially. My parents are able to send me here in the States to study and be a learned young individual. Yes, they labored so hard but without God blessing the works of their hands, they cannot be able to sustain our daily needs. Every perfect gift comes from God.
I guess I would like to be called as Godly rather than religious because a Godly person really obeys and follows the ways of God. Though there are times I fail God, but I believe that it is his son Jesus Christ who made me worthy in front of the God Father. If an individual is Godly, he is living by grace and not by rules that are set by men. He is also sensitive to the voice of God and acknowledges that he is nothing without God; thus, there is humbleness is his spirit and not critical if somebody is at fault. A Godly person knows how to forgive those who offended him and never hold grudges against other individuals. That is how I would like to be. On the other hand, being religious is like a Pharisee; “Keeping” the law in order to be labeled as holy. A religious person is legalistic rather than living by grace.
At the moment, there are many queries starting to pop up in my mind like when will God come back? How can I reach others and tell them how God loves them? I may not have the answers of these questions at the moment but I believe that God has his own answers and will be revealed in his appointed time.
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