Appreciating the Under-Appreciated

I’ve been putting a bit of thought into the saying my dad has always told my sister and me: “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” – more or less meaning…always work hard and do your best because you never know when an opportunity might present itself.

With that in mind, lately I have been thinking about where I am today, how I got here and really whom I have to thank for it all. Yes, I certainly put in my time and worked hard, but I could really only control the Preparation part of the Luck equation.

So…the process of opportunity. Friends and professors are all major parts of where I am today, but I’ve got to hand it to my parents. It’s easy to forget to show proper appreciation for parents because everything they do is their responsibility as parents, right? Well..wrong, actually. My parents are the most selfless, knowledgeable, honest and hard-working people I will ever meet.

Beyond the basic parenthood duties, it is everything else my parents have done for me (and perhaps your parents for you) that need to be recognized and appreciated: offering knowledge and advice only one can give with time, working jobs that were perhaps less desirable to provide for a family, providing health insurance when I was not offered my own during school, jobs and internships so I can get experience and (hopefully) get a job because of these experiences, PLANNING AHEAD for my sister/me (which perhaps meant personal sacrifice for our long-term benefit), staying up late proofreading papers, allowing us to live in a safe neighborhood, helping me prepare for piano/violin lessons, providing a violin/piano to use, taking my sister and me to Museums, concerts, classes, etc., teaching us extremely important lessons about 401Ks, taxes, economics, politics, religion, international relations, etc., and of course the latest act – helping me move down to Austin, as there is absolutely no way I could have pulled this off without them.

Perhaps I am especially grateful for and appreciative of my parents because everything they/my sister/I have today is a result of their hard work. My parents are both first generation Americans and have worked ridiculously hard for everything, both for them as well as for my sister and me. Something my Dad said to me while helping me move down to Austin was to the effect of ‘we have worked hard so you don’t have to’ which of course is 100% true, but also makes me feel pretty guilty, not going to lie BUT at the same time inspires me to keep working hard and prove there is/can/will be a high ROI in all they have put in (=

A few years back I attended a workshop given by Ed Gerety, perhaps the most memorable part was when he picked an audience member and said, “If you had one hour left to live, who would you call, what would you say and why haven’t you done it yet?”, handed his cell phone to the student, and had him make the call. Not going to lie, it was pretty powerful…obviously if I’m still talking about it 2 1/2 years later.

I hope at this point, my parents already know the immense appreciation I have for them, but if not, here’s another shoutout that really does not even begin to cover my gratitude. (= I would also hope that if any of you have remarkable people in your lives, you would not hesitate to let them know. Genuinely good/caring/selfless/saint-worthy people tend to be few and far between…but really deserve all the recognition and appreciation in the world.

4 thoughts on “Appreciating the Under-Appreciated

  1. nice.
    perhaps one of the best things that separates us from the other animals is that sense of appreciation.

  2. I enjoyed this. I still remember, when I was an undergrad, going up to my dad and actually thanking him for all that he did, and that the best parts of me that didn’t come from my mom, came from him. Something I think we all can do is to thank those who have helped us in an honest and straightforward manner.
    Thanks for reminding me of that day.

  3. Amen to every word, everything I am today is because of mom & dad, and my amazing little sister… I mean, twin : )

    If only more people were lucky enough to have such amazing parents like we were. Parents who aside from giving us a roof over our heads, really gave us the knowledge and belief in ourselves that we can be better than we even hope for so long as we work hard and prepare for those opportunities.

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