Being the first one, in any category or activity, always endorses the person with a special quality. If you are the first born kid in your family, you will certainly agree. Perhaps many of your friends and acquaintances, and specially your younger siblings, think that you are the favourite, while you grew up feeling the heavy burden of responsibility. Perhaps you actually feel like the privileged one. But in any case, being the first one is something special.
I can think of more peculiar instances of being the first one; some of which I have experienced myself. All my cousins from my mother’s side of the family are older than me and all of them are boys; that means that I was the first girl of that generation, and the only one, by the way. All my relatives are committed and hardworking people, but none of them had a chance to go to college and get a university degree; thanks to my mom’s encouragement and support, I was the first one. Later on, I was the first one in the family who had the chance to travel abroad. And if things keep going according to my plans, I will be the first one in starting my own business.
For all those reasons, my family thinks that I am kind of gifted and exceptional, and that I’m fulfilling all the dreams and goals that once they had. But I consider myself lucky, above all, because I was born in a loving and supporting family and also in an age when some things are easier to achieve.
But the most special first-time experience that I know has nothing to do with me. The main character in this story is a member of the family whom I didn’t had the chance to know, my grandfather. My mother’s father passed away at a relatively young age, because he suffered of severe asthma. His condition was aggravated by his job as a carpenter and the lack of safety equipment that shall be used. Nevertheless, my grandfather was determined to give the family their first house; not one that they had to pay rent for, but the one that will be their own.
Nowadays, our minds are changing, and our standards and goals too. Friends and colleagues of my own age, but especially the ones younger than me, are not concerned with owning properties; they take financial choices, like leasing, to get the resources that they temporary need, may it be a car, a house, or equipment for their business. But being owners is not that important for them, because that would mean to be attached to somewhere or something.
The mentality of my grandfather’s generation was completely different. For him, owning a house was the ultimate stage of maturity and the greatest expression of the love and the attention that he had towards his family. Therefore, reaching that goal was the most important accomplishment of his life.
And he did it. Before his final illness, he was able to complete the payment of the mortgage and he left a home to his wife and children. That was the very house where I grew up and one of the reasons that make me feel deeply lucky.