This I Believe

matthew - LaGrange, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in karma. However, I am not like the many others that believe in karma, for my sense of the word is different, perhaps even unique. Then again, maybe my belief is just a shortened part of the monstrous meaning behind karma. I don’t follow the zealous path, that of a power greater than us which rules the universe, dictating the consequences of our actions. But neither do I follow the path on which karma is rarely part of my daily life. Instead I forge my own trail, somewhere in between.

I believe that both good and bad are cyclical, traveling around from one person’s hand to another’s. If you keep Jacob’s drink from spilling off the table, then Jacob will go on to hold the elevator door so Jane can get on, Jane will stop to help Charlie pick up his spilled books, and Charlie will go on to do something nice for someone else. Sooner or later that kindness will come back to your waiting hands. Last week I had my hands full coming into the school, so someone took the time to hold the door for me. Later that day I made the extra effort to return a dropped pencil to someone in the hallway. What people do and why they do it all depends on their mood, and interactions with others can change this. For example, when a person does something considerate for another, their mood brightens, making them want to do something nice in return. For this reason, I believe that bad things can also be passed between people, if their moods are such inclined. Anger and frustration have tendencies to be passed on to whoever is closest, inflicting continuous damage as the person in turn passes on those feelings to another. I know that when I am in a bad mood, the disposition of everyone around me is affected. But I believe that everyone has a chance to stop spreading around bad feelings and replace them with good ones. I believe that everyone has the power to resist lashing out with hurtful tempers and instead start anew. I believe everyone has the ability to, and therefore should, take a step towards making someone else’s life better, as someone else betters yours. I believe that whatever you do affects others and ultimately affects yourself.