This I Believe

Anthony - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Entered on November 27, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe firmly in the power of karma, the idea that all actions have consequences and that people are either rewarded or punished based on such. It is, in a sense, a sense of worldly justice, and a deterrent for those who believe in it. Even if there is no one to witness your misdeeds, you will still be struck by some form of punishment; likewise, a good deed that is otherwise unnoticed may be rewarded in some different form. For those who believe in karma, they may find peace in the knowledge that punishment will find those who wrong them, preventing a possible altercation that would cause more problems than it solves.

Maybe people could write it off to be nothing more than a coincidence, but for those who know what to look for, karma is always present. A hypothetical situation could be when your neighbor is having a loud party the night before you have a final exam, making noise that even he must notice as irritating. As karmic retribution, a branch from an overhanging tree falls on the hood of his car, destroying the hood and causing some minor engine damage. This could indeed be seen as coincidence to the casual layman, but when you think how exactly a branch breaks, how fitting it seems to force repairs in return for his thoughtless, selfish actions—the idea of a coincidence is quickly cast aside. In my eyes, karma is a natural cycle, a circle that gives order to the world and justice to those who cannot achieve such by the laws of mankind. It can also be thought of as an ethical justice system, which is mostly where the legal system fails. I believe that being rude and mistreating others will result in bad things happening to you, while being courteous and polite will result in good things.

Many times people do good deeds for other people, usually without any expectation of payment. Often, though, they are rewarded (in ways that could also be attributed to coincidence) in ways that are usually proportional to the action. Another example is when you help a man with a broken-down car push it to a nearby gas station. The man offers monetary compensation, but you decline, knowing it was the right thing to do and accepting money wouldn’t feel right. You return to your college dorm, and are delighted to find that there was free pizza in one of the common rooms. The circle came around fully, and by rewarding where due, thusly encourages such behavior in the future, so in a way it also promotes the wellbeing of all mankind.

For some, karma is simply a matter of faith: a sense of security in the universe, a supreme justice system, and a preventative against rash actions. It is impossible to prove that it even exists, and feasible to attribute these events to other, more “logical” factors; but for those ready to delve into the deeper secrets of things and divine the hidden meanings, and embrace the comforts and limitations karma has to offer, the world seems like a brighter place.