A Life Not Understood

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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Parents from the very beginning want to guide their children through life and help them out in every way that they can. It is a natural part of parenting. You want to do make it as easy as you can for your children for as long as you can and you want to prepare them for what is out in the world. It is often that children rebel against their parents and want to do things for themselves. This is especially true in America where kids want to be individual from their parents at a young age. Many American children and adolescents want to do things for themselves and end up learning things the hard way because they were too stubborn to listen to their parents in the first place.

Richard Rodriguez never had the help of his parents to prepare him for the outside world because they were living in a world that his parents didn't even understand.

They put him in an American school not knowing any English and let him go from there. As time went on and the more educated he became, the more distant he became from his parents. In the chapter The Achievement of Desire, of his book Hunger of Memory, Rodriguez addresses the difference between learned knowledge, as we learn it from our parents and experienced knowledge, as we learn it when we enter the real world. The differences are tremendous in light of the fact that our parents can never prepare us for a world they do not truly know or understand.

Learned knowledge is the knowledge that you are taught by your parents. It consists of the things that your parents teach you to prepare for the outside world. Probably things that they have experienced themselves and learned themselves that they...