This I Believe

Karen - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on November 20, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I believe

“What do you believe happens to you when you die?” my co-worker asked.

Sue was a person who was very sure of her religious beliefs, and she knew that I was a person who didn’t necessarily conform to any organized religion.

“Do you really want to know?” I asked.

“Yes” she said sincerely.

“I don’t know” I said, “and I’m okay with that”

I could tell by the look on her face that she didn’t understand. The truth is I really don’t know and I really am okay with that. There may be a heaven. There may be hell. Those places may be the same for everyone, or they may be different for you and me depending on what we choose to make them. Your heaven may be full of angels and have streets paved with gold, and everyone there may have everything they ever wanted and needed in life. Maybe heaven is only a feeling, with no real physical possessions, but complete happiness in your heart. My heaven would be overflowing with chocolate and cats. My husbands would be totally different. Hell may be filled with fire, or it may simply be living an eternity in your worst nightmare. Or neither of them may exist at all. Maybe death is the end. Maybe this is it. I just don’t know the answer to the question.

“If you don’t believe without a doubt that there is a reward at the end of this life for being good, why would you be a good person in this life?” she asked.

“I believe a good life lived is the reward” I said “and that’s enough for me, anything more in an afterlife is simply a bonus.”

This is my life, and I want it to be the best that I can make it. Everyday is a new day. The sun comes up in the morning, and sets at night. This doesn’t mean that everyday is a good day. But if, in the end, the good days add up to more than the bad days, then I have won. I don’t have to have my every wish and desire fulfilled to make this happen. I don’t even have to have the majority of my wishes and desires fulfilled to make this happen. I simply have to be grateful for what I do have. Those people I choose to surround myself with inspire most of my happiness and at times, my sadness. And in most cases, if I am good to them and treat them well, I get the same in return.

Why, with all that as a reward, wouldn’t I choose to be a good person? And if there is more after this life is finished, well then, that’s all the better.