A Family Difference: Three Differing Life Views Everyone tells us that in order to see what our future will be like, one must merely look into the past of his / her family. If one comes from a family of accountants, lawyers, doctors, teachers, or the like, then one is expected to fill in the same shoes in the future. It’s not that difficult to believe that our life expectations have been set out this way, the apple after all is not supposed to fall far from the tree. Now I am not one to discount the family history of the next kid in relation to his or her future life, but as far as I am concerned, who my grandparents and parents are, how they came to be in this world, and the kind of life that they lead, are not meant to become the templates by which I am to live my life. Rather, theirs is the example by which I can alter my own future in order to suit my needs. Be it my work ethic, sense of how to live my life, or even how I should manage my sexual relationships in the future, our parents cannot and must not ever have the authority to dictate any portion of our lives. For we have but one life to live happily before we rejoin the great creator of the earth. Follow. My grandfather is the immigrant of the family. He came to this country in order to escape the persecution that he was experiencing in our mother land. With only a few coins in his pocket, he dove into the unknown waters that led him to settle where we now live. His life was no bed of roses when he first landed here. I remember him telling me about all those times when he lived in the streets and pan handled just to be able to afford a little bread to stop the hunger pangs. It was only by sheer luck that he managed to get an odd job at the local dock as a cargo handler and he was good at his job. He was good at using his brawn in keeping a roof over his head and a hot meal in his tummy. He hates people who have an adversity for leg work. Calls them louses who are the bane of this great country’s existence. That was the main reason that he forced my own father to work as a grocery baggage boy when he was a mere teenager in need of some extra cash as well. And this is where my grandfather and I have a differing opinion about work and ethics. While I agree with my grandfather in the sense that our great country was indeed founded on the back breaking work ethic of our forefathers, we now have options when it comes to what is considered to be back breaking work. Although manual labor remains to be one of the most respectable jobs in this country, one does not need to be part of the manual labor force in order to prove he is a productive part of our country’s work force. I can actually be working a desk job in the future and still be able to proudly call myself a member of the working class of America. As far as my father is concerned, he does not really care what kind of job I end up getting in the future provided I fulfill his dream of becoming a working professional with a college degree in the future. Something that he was not able to fulfill for himself. They say that there comes a point in time when our parents begin to live their lives vicariously through the successes and failure of their children, I guess my dad is one of those people. Since I am still in school, he tends to think of me as a child who needs to be guided in order to succeed the way he wants me to in life. A point of view that I believe stems from my grandfather’s influence in his life and something which I cannot wholly support as an individual. Although we should do everything within our power to make our parents proud of our accomplishments and development as a person, we should not agree to live their lives and dreams for them. There are a number of teenagers on any given day who are faced with the decision of either making their parents happy by living the life their parents want for them while they wallow in misery and self pity in the background or, we can opt to march to our own drummer and prove to our parents that their idea of the kind of life their child should lead is not the only way to live. Living life is not something that is cemented in stone for a young adult by his parents. Rather, theirs can only serve as a guideline for the do’s and don’ts of their offsprings future life. That is the discussion that I had with my parents when I came of age and knew I was going to college and that, should also be the same talk that teenagers across the land should be having with their parents as well. Then of course there is the topic of sexual relationships and how my family views premarital sex and its possible repercussions. While my grandfather would like me to believe that he never had an sexual relations before marriage, my grandmother had already told me that he was definitely not one to have practiced what he preached. But he was part of the culture that pretended to be prim and proper at all times, therefore he was expected to keep up the same appearances. Which is probably what some of the other teenagers experience with their own grandparents as well. My parents, who are part of the modern society understand that sexual relationships are not supposed to be hidden in the dark and whispered about in gossip circles by teenagers. Instead, they have always encouraged me to come clean with them and discuss any questions I may have with them. It’s important to have a cool set of parents when it comes to the sex talk these days. Teenagers get enough conflicting information off the internet and social media sites about the topic while what a newly sexually awakened person really needs, is somebody to point out the way towards responsible sexual activities. It’s really great that I have parents who taught me the importance of not being a peel and tell. They understand that sexual responsibility is not something that I believe they can teach me about. Rather, being sexually responsible is a choice that I made based upon all the observations that I have made in my life. From the unexpected pregnancies in the family, to the young marriage and early divorces, these all add up to the real life lessons that help shape my point of view in terms of sexual relations and family life. Maybe it is because I come from a generation far more advanced in learning and understanding than my parents did, but they offered me the opportunity to simply become their equal when it came to understanding the similarities and differences in our lives. It is this unique relationship with my family members that have helped make our family unit more cohesive. Our family works on the foundation of respecting each others views and for that, I will forever be grateful to them.