The prompt I picked was, "Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence."
I hope using my father isn't too generic. Thanks for any tips.
Confucius once coined the term Junzi, meaning "ideal person." A junzi is a virtuous, benevolent, and cultured person who strives to contribute to the betterment of society. Although this status is very hard to achieve, I feel that my father demonstrates the qualities of a junzi everyday. It is my father who has influenced me the most – to become a constructive individual as well as a conscientious citizen.
Born in a large Chinese family, my father came to the United States with only a few dollars in his pocket. He experienced the typical hardships of being a foreign student who had to work several jobs to pay for food, shelter, and tuition. His tenacity and steadiness culminated in a doctorate degree and a college teaching position. Despite the success, he never forgot his roots and ideals that are just as strong today as they were 30 years ago. As a college professor, he opens his student's minds to much more than the curriculum. He frequently tells me there is nothing more rewarding than educating the next generation, giving them a fighting chance in the real world. His devotion to teaching has earned him affectionate praises and the "Dr. Step Dad" title from students.
Growing up under my father's convictions and standards has been a privilege for me. Like many of his students, I learned from his writings the implications of globalization and the need for greater understanding and tolerance among different nations and cultures. Were not for his careful guidance, I would still be in the mindset of life being nothing more than my immediate surroundings. From him I also learned to be a careful thinker who is highly independent in my syntheses of others' opinions. My father's work ethic and devotion to learning has trickled down to me as well. "There is no free lunch" has become the code that I live by. The most important life principle that I learned from my father is to follow the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
I have often wondered where I would be without my father's guidance. He inspired me to set high and meaningful goals in life, to not waste precious time, and to live to my fullest potential. I am certain that I will succeed and very likely excel in college and beyond. I owe this strong sense of confidence to my father, who has shaped me every step of the way. In my eyes, he will always be a junzi.