This I Believe

Candy - Webster, Texas
Entered on April 6, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: setbacks
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I Believe That One Life Is Not Fair

I believe that one life is not fair. It requires multiple lives for justice to work itself out in our existence. This personal revelation several years ago rid me of the majority of any jealousy toward another person and lessened my competitive drive. A certain part of me is much more content and at ease.

When I say “fair”, I’m not really talking about the simple justice represented by “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” or “you reap what you sow,” but a broader sense of justice, fairness, and balance. Consider the platitude, “It’ll all work out.” It no longer sounds simple or trite, but it’s something I can really believe in given enough time—more than this lifetime alone.

I came to this understanding after many years of reading about faiths other than my own, considering reincarnation and the principle of karma, and melding those ideas with a concept of soul-maturation that I came across in various Christian-based but eastern-leaning volumes. Webster’s loosely defines karma as the force generated by a person’s actions and their ethical consequences to determine his destiny in his next existence. I married the concept of soul development to the karmic view and prefer to believe that whatever we experience in a life is part of a learning process, and living many lives–rich, poor, healthy, sick, powerful, subjugated—allows our soul, that innermost part of ourselves that we cannot really comprehend, to grow in wisdom and understanding, and ultimately rejoin the Ultimate Being that Is.

It is the common human condition to seek something greater than or outside ourselves. Indigenous people from all parts of the world call upon spirits or natural forces to commune with higher planes of consciousness. Hindus believe you are the god you are seeking and your soul has to attain liberated awareness. One characteristic of a god is that it creates. I believe that we are connected with a greater unfathomable spirit, but somehow not fully integrated in this existence, and perhaps we are in the process of re-becoming God by creating ourselves anew each day as we make conscious behavioral decisions. In the act of creating a person you are becoming god. Every time you check your temper because you don’t want to be an angry person, you are re-making a bit of yourself. Every time you resist wishing you were someone else, you are creating the new more grateful you.

Therefore, I am in the situation I am in, relative to the situations of others, because I have something to gain by my particular experiences. There is simply no reason for jealousy. Alternatively, if I extend this belief to others, I am not overwhelmed by the despairs of the world because they also have a purpose in people’s lives. My soul benefits by doing whatever I can to ease them, but I am not incapacitated by anguish over the way things are. As the poem, Desiderata, says, “The universe is unfolding as it should.”