This I believe… What Goes Around Comes Around

Emma - Portland, Oregon
Entered on February 8, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that what goes around comes around. I realize that this phrase has become little more than an overused pop-culture cliché, but when I say it I mean it in all sincerity. Perhaps it would be better to say that I believe in karma, but that implies a belief in fate or destiny, and I strongly feel that we control our own lives and futures. What I believe is that the actions taken today will have an effect on the way things go tomorrow, and that all things are self-generating.

When I was younger one of my favorite sayings was, “it’s not fair!” to which my mother or father (whoever was closest) would promptly reply “life’s not fair, get used to it.” The funny thing is that I began to believe them, to accept that I couldn’t control what happened and that sometimes bad things happened for no reason at all. Now, my parents were not bad parents, quite the opposite actually, but they saw the world as a place you had to fit in to, rather than a place you could shape to fit yourself. As I grew though, I began to recognize that my actions and words would impact me later. Even the smallest act of kindness could make the difference between a friend and an enemy, and the way I treated people would be the way they treated me in return. Of course, there were exceptions to this rule, there were cruel girls who would say mean things weather I was nice to them or not, and boys who would make fun of me just because I was there to make fun of. These people held a great deal of power in elementary and middle school and in seventh grade I once again began to believe that what I did wouldn’t matter. Then high school happened. Most movies and stories make high school out to be the worst of all places filled with air-headed snobs and jerky jocks. However, I’ve come to see high school as just the opposite, high school is the place where the process of maturation begins and people start to come into themselves and pay attention to what they do. Those same snotty girls and boys who had been so rude in middle school changed, they became kinder and more reasonable, and they were treated with respect by others. The few who didn’t change soon fell from popularity and became a group all on their own, a group who no one particularly cared for. As I saw this process occur, my faith in the power of actions was once again alive and well.

What I have come to believe is that everything that I say or do will impact me later on. If I am kind others will be kind to me, if I am difficult or disagreeable people will not want to be around me. If I work hard and try I will be rewarded, and if I slack off I will be punished. If I live my life with respect for myself and others people will respect me, and if I am degrading to myself or those around me, I will have no respect. These things may not be instantaneous, or even direct, but they will happen; I am sure of it.