Throughout my life, one of the most important messages that I have been holding onto up to date is a message that my mother used to say when I was a young child. She always said that an individual should not waste his or her youth, and always do the best he or she can. At first, I was not able to comprehend and understand precisely what she meant by this assertion. However, as I grew up, I came to comprehend and grasp what she was telling me during those days. She wanted me to give one hundred percent dedication to whatever I do and always do something that would be beneficial in my life. I realized that life is so unpredictable and nobody knows what is waiting for us or our lives in the future. We are not aware of what will happen tomorrow. That is one of the greatest message or teaching I received from my mother, and I am so thankful to her because she opened my eyes by showing the right approach I should give life.
I have applied this message I got from my mother in various instances in my life. For example, I used this strong message when I was only sixteen years and was given the opportunity to move to the United States of America. Going to the United States was one of my biggest dreams in life, hence, when an opportunity appeared, I took it without hesitation. My migration to the United States brought lots of changes to my life, and I used the chance to change my life. For example, it has enabled me appreciate the traditional practices and cultures of other people. Also, it has helped me develop a positive perspective about people from other cultures. I am certain that if I still lived in my home country Indonesia, I would be closed minded and unable to embrace culture differences between different communities in the society. Today, I embrace diversity more than as I did before I came to the United States.
Although I have been staying in the United States for more than five years now, I still strongly hold to my personal values of life which are founded on the Indonesian culture and Islam. This makes me feel very proud because despite living and interacting with the Western culture, it has not changed to the worse but rather made me become a better person who embraces diversity and cultures of other people. I am proud because my core values have not been washed away by the Western culture.
For my part, every time I think of a person whom I like, cherish and respect most in my life, it is my mother who comes first in my mind. I consider my mother as the smartest, toughest and strongest person I have ever met in my life. I was born and raised up in a middle-class family with an average income. Despite being faced with numerous challenges such as lack of money to cater for our school fees, my mother worked so hard to ensure that my sister and I get the best we can. She could buy us many luxurious and glamorous things just to make sure that we are happy in our lives. She always said that our happiness and contentment in life is one of her core responsibilities, and that she would do anything she can to accomplish it. For me, if I would become what she wanted me to be when I was young, I will be so happy because that would make her happy too. For this reason, I am working so hard so that I can excel in my education and have a successful career and life.
Furthermore, I really dislike jealous people because I strongly believe that these people are the greatest obstacles to both individual and societal growth and success. Jealous people are highly disturbing and upsetting. They neither appreciate what others do nor embrace the success of other people. Mostly, jealous people are very ignorant and never give any encouraging advice or positive compliments or comments that would encourage an individual to work hard and become successful in life. For example, you would hear a jealous person saying “Oh! He is just spending his parent’s money” whenever see a child buying something beautiful, i.e. a toy. In my view, spending a parent’s money is not bad habit because they have worked hard for it so that their child or children can use the money.
For my part, I am a person with diverse cultural backgrounds. As I mentioned earlier, I moved to United States of America when I was sixteen years. One year later, I went back to Indonesia and joined an international school to finish my high school education. While growing up in Indonesia and in the United States of America, I met different people with diverse cultural backgrounds. At the international school, I met students from all over the world. As a result, I learned numerous things about different cultures of the world and people. For example, I learned that within the Asian culture, removal of shoes when entering a house is mandatory. Similarly, I learned that Japanese show respect to the elderly in the society by bowing down when greeting them. In my view, the opportunity which I got to learn from a mixture of cultures has made me a person with a very different and unique culture. I would also assert that another beneficial thing that I learned from my interactions with people from different cultures in the United States and students from different cultures at the international school is that it enabled me to develop a great respect to other cultures. I learned to embrace the differences that exist between us because of our cultures. I also learned that in some cultures, for instance, in Indonesia, a person may not tell some things about you simply because they do not want to hurt your feelings, ego or self-esteem.