There was one person who had the most significant and strongest influence in my life. Throughout my childhood years, I learned countless lessons and values he taught me. That person was my grandfather, the greatest man I have ever known. Thanks to his influential characteristics and to our close relationship, I was shaped into the individual I am today. He was present throughout my physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. For ten years, he was my babysitter, my teacher, and my father. He was always there to cheer me up when I was feeling down. He was there when I had a bad day and needed a shoulder to cry on. My grandfather’s presence influenced me to not be a shadow of the world, to be hard working, and to be empathetic towards others.
My grandfather greatly influenced me to not be a follower of the world. I remember one Sunday morning, as I sat next to my grandfather on the wooden chair on the front porch. I was reading “Jack and The Bean’s Stalk” when, I impulsively said to my grandfather, “I just wish we had a lot of money so we don’t have to work.” My grandfather then replied, “Be careful not to be attached to money, sweetheart. People cannot be committed to the world and God at the same time. We are to seek God first.” I thought it was a very peculiar thing to say but now, I understood what he meant. I learned that to be a lover or a follower of the world was to live a life based on its riches, beliefs and priorities. To understand it more, my grandfather used to tell me a story from the Bible called “The Parable of the Prodigal Son.” It is about a wealthy father who had a greedy son that demanded his inheritance for he craved and valued power, wealth, and glory. In the end, when he wasted the money that he valued the most, he suffered and was even willing to be a slave. This story taught me not to idolize money or the wealth of the world, as it would only ruin individuals in the end.
My grandfather also taught me the significance of perseverance, hard work and determination to achieve goals. He taught me to be determined, to reach for my dreams and that poverty or any difficulties in life is not a hindrance to success. My grandparents never received a good education, but because of their hard work; they managed to send their children to school. My grandfather made a lot of sacrifices in his life. When he was young, he was forced to leave his home and settle far away from his family for work. He had to work as a farmer; he milked cows, planted crops and even fed pigs. He said that he was exhausted every single day. But in the end, his hard work paid off when he was able to stabilize the little money he made and to cater his family’s needs. The trials faced and the sacrifices made by my grandfather just to support his family, inspired me to become a determined person and pursue my goal of helping others.
My grandfather’s empathy towards me, reflects how I treat the people around me. He taught me that every individual needed someone to listen to them, especially when they were at their lowest. As a child, I didn’t know how to deal with my emotions, fortunately, my grandfather was there to help me go through it all. He said that it’s important to learn how to deal with my emotions for it could sometimes cause irrational actions. This was proven when I unintentionally shouted some hurtful words to my grandfather. I even locked my bedroom door and messed up my room. I definitely didn’t want it to happen, but it did because I let my anger control how I behaved. The reason behind it was very foolish; it was only because of they didn’t allow me to play outside. After all that I’ve put him through, he was still willing to listen to whatever I had to say.
Every person that we have encountered had a purpose to why they became part of our lives. There are people who remain in our lives, people who come and go, and people who were part of our lives for just a little moment. In this regard, I must confess that it took me fifteen years to realize what an astonishing influence my grandfather has been in my life. He enabled me to develop under his positive influences. My grandfather taught me how to spiritually grow by not being a follower of this sinful world, to be a hard-working person in school, to commit myself to every little task, and to become an empathetic person towards other people. He was always there when I needed help, comfort and support. He was there to give me the life he never had and now my life goal is to give my grandfather a life my great-grandparents never gave him.