My Personal Credo

November 19, 2009
By dale.wallace BRONZE, Houston, Texas
dale.wallace BRONZE, Houston, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I was sitting on the edge of my bed, furious at the charges that were held against me from my mom. I was put in timeout for something as minimal as lying! I was seven years old and I felt that I needed to get revenge, so I sat at the edge of my bed with a penny in my mouth, in order to spit it right at my mom when she walked in…Then the penny slipped off of my tongue and down my throat. Quickly I ran out of the room with fear in my eyes. My mom screamed, “What are you doing get back in your room!”

I screamed back, “I swallowed a penny.” She grabbed my brother and me and threw us in the old Volvo and sped to the hospital there they gave me x-rays and everything turned out to be all right. But when we got home my brother came up to me with a concerned look on his face.

He said, “Dale, what were you thinking about doing when you put a penny in your mouth? Were you going to spit it at her because you were in timeout?”

I answered cowardly “Yes." Brad then said something that I will never forget for the rest of my life…

"Now Dale I know that you may not have thought that was a fair punishment but really there is a reason for everything mom does whether you like it or not, she does it so that we will grow up to be strong, healthy, faithful young men."

Brad and I both grew up without a father figure in the household because our parents separated when I was two and he was six. This doesn’t seem too uncommon as many families are affected by divorce these days, but it was really hard because my mom had to take care of both me and Brad on just a teacher's salary. When I was about eight or nine I really felt that my mom didn’t like me and that I might have been the reason that my dad left. This thought really brought my self worth down and my brother quickly noticed the change in my daily life, like talking back, not answering her questions, and being disrespectful. He talked to me about it and told me that it wasn’t my fault and nor was it mom or dad's. He taught me that even though she would make us clean the house and mow the lawn and wash dishes and take out the trash and make my own dinner, that really she wanted the best for me. I still can hear my mother's words ringing in my ear, "You both can cook your own dinner you are both Boy Scouts!" My brother did teach me to appreciate my mom for everything she did for me because she worked hard so that I could grow and learn things so that I would have a good future.

I still remember when I was twelve and Brad and I would go to his soccer practice and he would let me play with his team so that I could get better at soccer. Even though I was twelve and he and his teammates were all sixteen, he still held me accountable even though I was “out of their league.” A few years later I got to a point where I played with my own coaches and my own team. This was a little different for me because I was so used to playing with my brother and having him encourage me. I learned quickly that my coach was not very encouraging when I made a mistake; he was rather rash and had a large temper. I was not used to this way of “pushing” myself and I immediately went to Brad to ask him how to handle this. He told me that much like my mom we had to be thankful for coaches because their only job is to push you to get better and that really is what they are doing by yelling, whether I thought it was necessary or not. This made me realize that even though coaches yell and scream at you when you do something wrong, that in the end they are just trying to push you to be a better player and we must respect that because they are making us stronger.

Then my brother taught me a last and very important lesson when I was in high school while he was not even around. This was when he spoke at his college graduation in front of more than two thousand people. He spoke with a stern strength that everyone in the auditorium could recognize. Also he remained poised and showed great articulation in every word that he had to say. One part really stuck out to me and it was when he said, “We may be the ones wearing caps and gowns, but the accomplishment has not been a sole effort. Graduation is an opportunity to publicly acknowledge those whose support helped us get through. Parents, professors and peers, you have taught us, pushed us, tested us and supported us, and we have become better individuals because of you. You are our dedication page. Thanks for carrying us through.”
This really stuck out to me because he was thanking those who put him in tough situations like staying up for days at a time working on labs, or writing articles for the student newspaper. His “parents, professors and peers” are people that pushed him that push gave him the opportunity for success. The people that he recognizes for being in his “dedication page” are the reasons for where he is today.

Looking back, I know realize how much of an influence Brad has been on me. I now respect the people that put me in situations that I don’t want to be in because I now know that those people are just trying to make me into a strong successful individual. I also owe a lot of my respect to my brother for helping me gain the understanding that being pushed by others should not discourage me but rather strengthen me to become a more successful person. My "dedication page" is to him, for being more than just a brother and for teaching me to push through in order to be successful.

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