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A Modest Upbringing: The Roots of Resilience and Motivation

November 20, 20231 min read

I spent my early childhood in northern Luxembourg, living with my mother. She single-handedly provided for us with frugality and love, managing to cover essentials and a bit more on her modest income. At times, she even paused her work to spend more time with me — a testament to her dedication.

Growing up modestly instilled in me a strong longing for abundance. I view this not as a pursuit of materialism, but as a drive shaped by humble beginnings — finding blessings in adversity.

View of Dellen, Luxembourg in the early 2000s

Dellen, the small village where I grew up, was a sharp contrast to the bustling San Antonio, with its mere hundred residents. Here, everyone knew each other by name, a tight-knit community where fitting in was subtle yet complex.

My mother and I stood out in Dellen. Her status as an unmarried, church-skipping woman who adored colorful attire gently pushed the villagers' traditional limits. While we were never outcasts, our difference from the community was palpable.

To connect with the community, I joined the local marching band and the youth firefighters, drawn to the sense of uniformity they offered. Yet, Dellen was too small for such services; I had to travel to Grosbous, the larger village in our commune.

Life in Dellen had its perks for a young boy. The absence of traffic, apart from a few tractors, meant freedom on a bicycle. The village, nestled among green pastures and small forests, was a natural haven. Unlike city children in places like San Antonio, I spent summers exploring nature without a worry. However, the lack of children my age led me to choose boarding school — a new chapter in my journey.

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