This I Believe

Jamie - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Entered on March 30, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: golden rule

I believe we should live our lives in a manner that reflects our ideas about what we ultimately want to see out of this world. We all generally share the same beliefs about what an ideal world would be like. Our shared fantasy consists of a peaceful land of healthy, happy people. Unfortunately, it seems as if some outside force always interferes with our achievement of utopia. However we all contribute to Utopia’s inexistence. It is easy to be kind and pleasant when we are having a good day, but life is not filled with good days. For instance, in order to function in our society, we must interact with other people on a regular basis. These other people we share our world with will all have different motivations, attitudes, and ways of life. What each of us considers common courtesy varies so these common courtesies are not as common as we would like them to be. Not surprisingly, the interactions we have with others do not always go the way we would like. Feelings we may experience after these interactions include distress, annoyance, and disrespect. The severity of our emotions may range from severe, after being the victim of discrimination, to minute, after being cut off while driving. Despite our efforts, we all get sad, frustrated, and angry. These emotions are natural and there is nothing wrong with experiencing them. It is important to remember that the ways we respond to “negative” emotions help define who we are and what we believe as much as the way we respond to “positive” emotions. We should deal with stress and unfortunate circumstances in a way that reflects our moral code of behavior. At all times, we need to demonstrate ideal ways of handling all situations. You never know who is watching- and learning from- your behavior. But most importantly, this is the only way we can have hope of living in Utopia. This belief developed from a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “We must be the change we wish to see.” These simple words make everything that seems complicated make complete sense. War cannot bring peace, unhealthy lifestyles do not lead to long life, and hate will never evolve into love. And until we see past immediate feelings of anguish and live by our moral code, despite what others are doing, we will never be truly happy.