Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.
- Anthony Brandt.
Being raised up in a traditional Asian background, family was very much important to me. I loved my family above everyone else, and I always tried my best in school to please my parents. I also became very much like a combination of my parents and grandmother without really knowing it - I inherited my mother's determination and piety, my father's intelligence and humor, and also my grandmother's class and tact. Things weren't easy, of course. We've had our ups and downs, but happiness encouraged us and hardships strengthened us - we all learned together.
My teachers very much liked me because I was very discipline, and I always treated them with respect and sincerity. Other kids, however, were usually more rowdy and harder to control; some of them never really took school seriously. Actually, having just said that, I realize this reflects how much their parents were devoted to them. Teachers are in a very similar position to the parents.
I actually think that most interpersonal problems have their roots in the family. If you can't love your family, how can you love anyone else? Blood is thicker than water no matter how you look at it. You can bury your family in your work, your love, your children, whatever, but it will always come back to haunt you. Of course, there are dire circumstances like when the parents are abusive or negligent. But even then, you should always make a lesson out of it: Never be like them and create the family you dreamed of.
Traditional Vietnamese families always emphasize duty in helping the family out and loyalty to one's parents as though it ought to be instinctive. Right now, I am in Vietnam, and I have noticed something very different compared to the West. There are no begging, homeless people. Everyone works unless they are seriously disabled (which I have not yet seen). They make work out of everything; there's always something to do. Whether it's working for their country, friends, or family through selling fish, transporting packages on motorbikes, or sweeping the streets, they're always working their hardest.
"Society itself is the aggregated structure of family units. Individuals are very temporary as planetary factors—only families are continuing agencies in social evolution. The family is the channel through which the river of culture and knowledge flows from one generation to another.
While religious, social, and educational institutions are all essential to the survival of cultural civilization, the family is the master civilizer. A child learns most of the essentials of life from his family and the neighbors. ~ The Urantia Book"
Say "I love you and thank you for raising me" to your parents. Trust me, it will mean a lot even if they don't show it.