The following words are from a Sociology paper I wrote back in college. While I still believe in my own words that I penned, there is but a slight difference. The view of my parents has been greatly altered. And I am proud that my views are still the same, despite the fact the parents are the type to hold money over my head after all, and that my parents didn’t sacrifice or give of themselves in the way I thought they had.
What I owe my parents and friends
To say that I owe something to someone suggests that I am in debt to someone and I am expected and required to repay that person or people. Where the word owe exists, love (namely unconditional love) cannot.
A true act of love, as performed by a friend or family member, is selfless. As a friend and family member myself, when I give of myself, in one way or another, I do not expect to be repaid. The only thing I can hope for of a loved one to whom I gave is appreciation. I hope that as I expect nothing in return that they appreciate what I have done for them and that they did not expect it of me in the first place. When I give of myself, I hope that there is someone or something of this world that can return that favor when I am in need. I shall never expect this of anyone in particular because there are several people with whom I associate in a love relationship, and of those people there are some more needy than others. I tend to give more to my needy associates and less to those who are at a better standing in life. Of those more needy of associates I hope for nothing in return because I give, knowing they are oft not in a position to return that which I did for them. I can only hope from my less needy associates for them to be there for me when I am in need, but this I do not expect, only hope.
In the case of my parents, I believe that my parents gave of themselves out of love for me, and where love exists, the word owe cannot. Therefore I owe my parents nothing. However, if my parents, or friends for that matter, are in need of something which I can give, I would expect it of myself to give to them because they have done the same for me, or would have if the situation were reversed. My parents have sacrificed much for me, and I believe that all they want, note not expect, is for me to appreciate what they have done for me, and for me to use those gifts of theirs to the best of my ability. I believe that my parents only want to see me succeed in life, and I believe that is what I can return to them. They sacrifice monetarily so that I can have a good education so that I can do well in life, not so that they can hold it over my head someday, although some people and parents do this. As my father always says, he might as well spend it now on me because it will only be less I get in the long run, because when they die I will inherit it all anyway. I believe that I should do the best I can in school, not only for myself because it is my life that will benefit or suffer, but also for my parents because they have sacrificed in order to give me a good education to help me succeed in life. I know that as a future parent this is what I desire from my children. I hope that I will bring them up in the right way so that they may sacrifice of themselves when I am in need as their parent, but this I cannot expect, once again, I can only hope.
When I do a favor for someone, or give of myself all I hope for is to be appreciated and for the favor to be returned if I am ever in need. I do not even expect the particular person I gave to necessarily to return that favor, but just that someone would be there for me when I am in need. I feel I owe nothing to anyone, but yet I am indebted to some and I intend to repay whether it be with appreciation or a shoulder to cry upon, and I can only hope that others view this in the same light as I.