Daniel - Durango, Colorado
Entered on April 21, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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Karma first took hold of my life at the early age of eight. My mom and I were in a local Mexican taqueria, and as we paid for our order I noticed a tip jar with the words printed on it, “Free Good Karma.”

The concept of karma was hard for me to grasp at the age of eight, so I thought of it as a reward from a higher being for doing something good. As I began toying with my new concept, I would often say (to no one in particular), what good I had done in this world, just in case the higher being had not seen my actions. My mother, who explained karma to me, was not a firm believer in it, but supported me doing good things and in return for my actions, would reward me.

This went on for a month or so before my mother noticed that I had not yet grasped the other half which completed yin-yang of karma. I was doing good things for the world but had not stopped my incorrect actions. In return of me disobeying her, she one day mentioned bad karma. My mother did this not to scare me but to enhance my teachings of karma, and it worked. Taking bad karma into thought not only improved my character, it improved my reputation.

My teachers and colleagues started to notice the difference in me and my fighting decreased as did my referrals at school. By age eleven my karma beliefs were in full swing, I was positive it was there and I believed in the rewards and punishments of karma. The beliefs I had of getting good karma were intensely focused towards helping the environment and the small living beings in our world. I would never hurt or kill animals unless the meat could be used, and when I saw pain to an animal as a result of my friends I immediately stopped it. As for the environment I would never litter and, occasionally, I picked up trash.

Back then, karma was only a minor factor in my life; I would not litter, do what was right, (once in a while), and a few other things. Now, in my early years of teen-hood my beliefs have reached a level of insanity. I am still following my early beliefs but have taken them to a level at which I go back if my friend has littered and pick up the trash. By now my liking of karma has vanished and it has been replaced with hatred. I do not enjoy obeying the rules of karma but I can not stop, it is like an addiction that won’t let go of me. Although it has been hard to enjoy it I owe a great thanks to karma for influencing a better side of me.