Saturday, October 4, 2008

Remember Who You Are?

While growing up, whenever I would leave the house, my parents would say those dreaded words, "Remember who you are". I didn't really understand what they meant, but I knew it was a reminder to make good choices or else. Now, as I am a little older and have had more experiences I have come to realize who I really am and why I need to remember. I come from a heritage of amazing people, my parents being among them. I also have grandparents that I am in awe of. These people have lived their lives in ways that show me how I should live mine.

Being LDS, we are taught to follow the example of the Savior. But, maybe the Savior is too distant for some of us, maybe we need someone closer to us, someone in our lives that has learned to follow the Savior and live their lives in a way that will bring true happiness. Today, I was reminded via email by my little brother that my family has that in our parents. I know that each of you has someone like this too. Ben has parents and grandparents that have lived awesome lives, and are another example to us. They are now a part of who I am. This is a reminder to each of us to look around, to find and follow the examples of greatness around us, to remember who we are and where we come from, to show respect to those people who have come before us. I am a Johnson and a Crisanto. Who are you? Please REMEMBER!

(Adam's email below)
"We are Johnsons, and for that alone we should be eternally grateful and walk around with nothing but a smile on our face every single day.

Mom and Dad recently came to California to visit and I realized that I was jealous that most of you live closer to them, and to each other than we do. The main thing me and Tonna dislike about living in California, is that we are so far away from the people most important to us (and I want to ensure you, you are most important to us). I also want to remind you of another realization that I am reminded of after every visit I have with our parents…

I have simply to follow the example of my parents and I will be successful in every single aspect of my life. I came to this profound epiphany many years ago and I am still so far from actualizing it, that sometimes I disappoint myself, most especially in the way I treat my wife. But every time I talk to mom and dad, every time I think of them, and especially every time I am able to directly interact with them, I am reinvigorated to be less like the rest of the people I am surrounded by and more like them. I use the phrase “I have simply to follow the example” not because it’s easy, but because it is a single solitary goal to shoot for. An example to follow that will, in my opinion, lead to every single other desire that I want for myself and for the people around me. How amazing to know how to go about your day, how to interact with your coworkers and engage in business, how to carry yourself, and most importantly how to treat your spouse. I struggle daily with many of these things, but it is encouraging to know that I have such a sure foundation to build upon.

I have interacted with a great many people in my short 27 years, probably many more than most my age. Consequently, I have discovered that the world is filled with good people, but also with neurotic, weak willed, dishonest people who are unable to overcome their need to satisfy themselves or to put anyone else before themselves. They are filled with selfishness, greed, and with a pathetic amount of self-pity and emotions other than happiness. “Self pity is our worst enemy, and if we yield to it we can never do anything good in the world”-Helen Keller. I don’t think I have heard another quote that reminds me more of my father.

In my anniversary card from Tonna, she called me a rock. I think of that as one of the stronger compliments I have received because that is how I have always thought of my mother, and to be likened to her is flattering to say the least. She is an unwavering rock upon which I have always been able to depend, to look to for guidance and acceptance. Not only solid in her dependability, but in her character; exhibiting honesty, charity, and kindness of an unchanging nature. A few weeks ago, I had a Co-worker comment on the way I helped out my supervisor, who is generally an unkind and condescending person, especially towards me. This co-worker said she could never act like that towards my supervisor after everything she has done to me. I said nothing but I instantly thought “You were not raised by my mother.” How much easier it must be to treat people well after a lifetime of watching your parents do nothing but.

As I said before I meet many new people on a daily basis. But I have honestly never met anyone I strive to be more like than my parents. I just wanted to remind everyone who we are. And I wanted to thank mom and dad for coming to visit and especially for being themselves.

Adam and Tonna Johnson"

8 comments:

Justin and Jessica said...

I was honestly so impressed with Adam for taking the time to share his thoughts and feelings. And I can only imagine how grateful, happy and proud it made mom and dad to hear that from their son. That phrase, "Remember who you are" will be one I think all of us will remember and hopefully use for generations to come.

Amber said...

Carmen,
You have grown into an amazing woman! I am grateful for the people in my life! I always tell my boys.... "remember your path". Satan always wants us to forget who we are. Thanks for reminding us!

Luvz ya!

THE BENTLEYS said...

that is so sweet:) and loved the hawaii picture! thanks for the reminder to remember:) miss yoU!

Angie Marchbanks said...

Carmen,
It was cool to hear from you, and I am sorry that you are going through fertility issues, they are not fun, but it sounds like you have faith and a good attitude that things will work out. Good luck with the invitro process. I will keep you in my prayers!
Angie

Do you mind telling me who your doctor is? Does he practice in Utah County?

Tiffany Johnson said...

Nate and I were quite impressed with Adam and his email. It was great of him to take the time to show appreciation for your parents and his wife... and his life in general. It's such a great reminder. Thanks for posting it. Oh, and you've been tagged.

Valerie Mom said...

Carmen,

Thanks for writing about remembering who you are. Dad and I were very proud of Adam for his e-mail and for all of our kids because they really do try to bring honor to us as parents and to themselves by the choices they make. I remember being told as a teenager every time I left the house to "remember who you are" by my dad, so it's not unique to us. I wonder if his parents reminded him as well. Wherever it started, I hope it will be used, as Jessica said, for generations to come.

Brooke said...

What a profound post. Oh my gosh! Your brother Adam has amazing feelings and really good at sharing them. I am very impressed and reminded of many things in this post. Thanks for sharing.

Lynes Family said...

That really is awesome Carmen. Thanks for the reminder. It is one I will definitely try to remember.