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My existence had nothing to do with my original father or mother's affection, having been born and abandoned by both parents when I was a toddler, adopted by a local orphanage, and nurtured together with other complete orphans. I realized that the world was a terrible place as I got older. Resentment against females flooded my heart as I wondered how a mother could abandon her own kid that she carried in her womb for nine months, but I had to be grateful to the woman who owns the children's home for taking care of me. This is something that I didn't want to accept, I never wanted to accept that there are good ladies out there (Rash, et al. 2011).
As I grew up, there were several challenges that I passed through and when I was 15 years old, I was admitted to a hospital for two months, my friends and foster parents became weary of visiting me in the hospital, then the worst part that humbled me occurred when I had to undergo blood transfusion and the only person whose blood group matched my blood group (O-) was my foster parents 'son. I had lived knowing these parents as my parents and because of their acts of kindness towards me, I always refused their son's constant demand for sleeping with me. As a little girl with no proper roots, I had nothing to say about their son's behavior and harassments, I had to be grateful for their help even when the situation has become unbearable for me (Rash, et al. 2011).
Their son accepted to donate blood to save my life and this placed me into another prison of gratitude more than I had experienced, it was like I was now sentenced to a lifetime of imprisonment (Buck 2004). After I recovered from sickness, the son demanded that I get married to him. Being the only son they had, my foster parents supported their son and I had no objection because after all, I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to for help and if I was to refuse, then it would be taken as being ungrateful, it was a heavy burden that I had to carry alone, it was bad and hurting but I had to show that am grateful for being taken into the orphanage when no one cared. Since I got married to a very elderly person than I was, more adult while I was still a very young girl, my life changed, I was abused in the marriage, worked like a slave and even dropped out of school. My husband being the one who donated blood to save my life was free to bring other ladies in the bedroom and I could do nothing, his parents took care of me and he himself donated his own blood to save my life. This was hurting and humiliating but I had to be grateful and I was not expected to complain (Rash, et al. 2011).
I came to understand that gratitude is actually what the receiver of a good thing had to give back since the receiver is totally unable to repay the giver back. I couldn't pay back the act of kindness shown to me by my husband's parents, I couldn't pay back the blood that was transfused to my system from my husband. Though I was suffering emotionally, if I had to endure because if I were to run away or file for divorce, it will be taken as if am not even grateful for the many things that have been done for me (Kosits 2017).
My inner spirit got empowered to make a difference, I decided deep in my heart that I will set up a children's home with a difference, and I will not allow any child to go through what I went through. It is painful and heartbreaking that simply because of gratitude, one can be in a lifetime prison carrying a heavy burden for what one cannot repay.
Buck, Ross. "The Gratitude of Exchange and the Gratitude of Caring." The Psychology of Gratitude, 2004, pp. 100-122.
Kosits, Russell D. "Flatland and the Deep Meaning of Gratitude." PsycCRITIQUES, vol. 62, no. 34, 2017.
Rash, Joshua A., et al. "Gratitude and Well-Being: Who Benefits the Most from a Gratitude Intervention?" Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, vol. 3, no. 3, 2011, pp. 350-369.
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