This I Believe

Robert - Washington, District of Columbia
Entered on September 15, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death

I believe that everything happens for a reason. All aspects of good and bad play a role, a role in my destiny. Philosophers have grappled with the complexity of destiny for thousands of years, but this I am sure. At the tender age of four I experienced sickness, at five death and at six pain. At age six I lost my grandmother to cancer and my first pet to old age. At such a young age many expected me not to grasp the affects of such tragedy, but I did. I still had questions though. Questions of why? Why did my grandmother have to die at such a young age? Why did my dog have to die before me? Why did my mother and her sisters have to suffer the pain of losing their mother? In time I would come to understand what I believe today.

I remember the day we received the phone call from my grandfather about my grandmother. I saw my mother drop the phone and instantly collapse to the ground. In a matter of minutes I could feel her pain flood the room. Later I would find out that my grandmother was very sick, and the coming months I would endure the terrible smell of a hospital only to watch my grandmother slip away. I would sit on her bed enjoying her jello that she didn’t have the will to eat and wait. One day I built up the courage to blurt out why? For the tender age of four my grandmother was certainly surprised by the question. In a soft voice she responded “It’s meant to be.”

On my many trips home I thought about my grandmothers words. I could still not think why, who or what would ever wish this ill on somebody and their family. Not only was my grandmother suffering her daughter, my mother was as well. Soon Christmas came and as we open presents I returned to my grandmother’s side. To ask not surprisingly, why is it meant to be? This time she explained a little more in depth. “Everything has a purpose in the world, small or big; with a purpose among life and the afterlife. Nothing ends without beginning.” As you can imagine I was quite confused. I began to ask what my purpose was and when I would end, but my grandmother interrupted me with a soft “shhhh” Over the beeping of her heart monitor she now whispered, “Robert, everything happens for a reason. We must not question it but rather live our lives knowing it exists.”

The next morning my grandmother died at age fifty. The sorrow in my house unfortunately would not leave more months because my first pet would die a month later. However, this time I had some concept of why and in someway it seemed easier to deal with. Overtime I grew from my grandmother’s words and developed my own beliefs; ones that all surround the fact that everything happens for a reason.

I believe in Karma but don’t call me superstitious. It goes hand in hand with the fact that I believe everything happens for a reason. Buddha defines Karma as a concept that each person is rewarded or punished for the person’s deeds prior. I believe that if I experience great fortune one day and adversity another it is because of the choices I made maybe hour, day, week or year ago. I believe that I have a destiny. A destiny to be something on higher level than the one I reside on now. This destiny is my beginning and my end. It is the path that I follow each day, my guiding force and my inspiration. My destiny may be tragic or wonderful neither of which I am sure. I believe that I have destiny because I believe everything happens for a reason. It would be odd to think that everything happens for reason but wasn’t part of something bigger.

Now don’t get me wrong my life is not limited to my destiny. I do not build my life around it and I believe that many things happen in life that have nothing to do with me destiny. It is not something I know; therefore I do not try to dictate what it is. I simply live life knowing that it exists and my choices today will have a cumulative affect on tomorrow. My actions play a role in my destiny but are not predestined; they are at random and this is why fate plays no part in my life. I live each day knowing that each tragic occurrence or streak of good luck that passes by is happening for a reason. I do not dwell on the bad or relish in the good. I simply go on and stick to the path of my destiny.