One day, soon after my mother had passed away, a thought struck me. I was listening to an interview about the education system in the U.S. I felt myself think, education is one of the most valuable tools we can give our children. I thought of this belief as my own, but I realized my mother had said it many times. Suddenly, it became evident to me, many of my beliefs about life were influenced by my parents. This came as a shock to me, not because I never realized my parents, or any one’s for that matter, have an influence on your life. The shock came that I still held fast to so many of those beliefs and had taken them on as my own. Thinking back to conversations with my mother I remembered how her father had influenced her with his thoughts on education. I struggled with the image of myself, as a 50 something woman, still a child clinging to her parents beliefs. Did I truly believe these ideals or was I just repeating them?
My conclusion is this. My beliefs are my own, because I have chosen them as such. That is not to say, those beliefs are not the same or similar to the ones my parents had. But, I’m not sure that is a bad thing. I also realize that I have altered some of my beliefs to fit into life lessons I have learned. And in the end, isn’t that what parents are supposed to do? Give you a foundation from which to build your own house? I then realized, with both of my parents dead, I am the one to carry on those beliefs or let them fade. I am the keeper of our family torch. One that I hope to keep well lit.