This I Believe

Heather - Lansing, New York
Entered on March 13, 2007

I exist at the juncture of 2 incongruous beliefs. I believe that in 100 years no one will remember any of the small details of my life. I also believe that the actions I take today will be felt for much longer than 100 years.

These beliefs are the product of years of trying to find peace in my life. I am not a spiritual person and I’ve spent much of my life seeking a way to feel that I matter. Most people want to have an impact on the world, something that will make others remember them. I believe that in 100 years no one will remember me. They won’t remember my name or anything about me, and I’m okay with that. This is really helpful for keeping the little things in life in perspective. In 100 years no one will care that I got that speeding ticket last week. But that in no way means that my life doesn’t matter or that I don’t have the ability to change the world.

I believe that the words and actions I express today, be they kind or mean spirited, will ripple through the world for quite some time. I believe we are all products of our environment. Each interaction we have with another person shapes who we are. It shapes our beliefs, our prejudices, our hopes. These are the foundations of our lives. These are the principles that we move forward as we interact with others.

So it is that, when I interact with other people, I see the world change. I believe my actions can shape the future. My actions change how others see the world. I can change these perceptions for better or worse. The actions I take affect people and their perceptions of the world. I can make it a kind, caring and fun place or a cruel one. But the ideas these people take away from their interactions with me effect their perceptions of the world around them. They in turn effect the people they interact with, and so on and so on. Thus one seemingly inconsequential action, be it good or bad today, will effect the future for both myself and others.

These are the beliefs that guide my actions each day. I believe that with each of my actions I can make a small change in the world. The choice for it to be a good or bad change lies with me. And although in 100 years no one will remember my name, I know I will have made a difference in the world.

This I believe.