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This I Believe

An example essay for the This I Believe writing assignment.
by

Lando Carter

on 15 August 2013

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Transcript of This I Believe

Boomerang
Will the ghosts of my past return to haunt me? I have tirelessly dwelled upon the cosmic notion of karma for years now. These reflections have led me to adopt a new philosophy for my life:
I believe in spreading compassion to everyone, everyday—even if that same benevolence fails to return to me immediately. Although this philosophy demands patience and perseverance, I believe that goodness will find me.

I believe in karma because fragments of the evil I have emitted into the world have hunted me down. For example, in the fall of my sophomore year I gathered a small band of brothers to execute a campaign of toilet paper warfare on a former dear friend. Chris and I grew up in the same neighborhood; we survived the school bus together; we conquered bullies together. Yet within a flash, I was bullying him.

Every step across his yard that night felt cruel. The wrongness echoed through my bones, but I continued the operation and masked my shame with a sinister smile. We blanketed the colossal trees in white and stepped back to celebrate our night’s work. I immediately wished I could take it all back. Our silent escape forced me to ponder the entire scope my deeds. What would Chris’ father say when he set out to deliver the mail that morning? Chris would have to explain what he had done to deserve my wrath.

In truth, he was always a good friend and deserved none of this pain. One year later, as a junior, I experienced the same hurt I exacted on Chris. My mother had only recently started driving her new Lincoln when I discovered the remnants of half a dozen eggs splattered across the glossy black paint. She seemed thunderstruck, and ordered me to clean it without delay. While cautiously removing the dried yoke, I knew my retribution had arrived—either by the hands of my old friend or the cosmos itself.

Therefore, the concept of karma became a harsh reality that afternoon during my junior year. I endured the same pain I had propelled into the world, and it was well deserved. However, the most significant element of this experience was learning to believe in goodness and choosing to spread its wonderful might.
The title forshadows the central belief
Intro reveals my
belief to the reader
This paragraph sets up a story about why I believe in karma.
Here, I reveal exactly
what I did to my
old friend.
Next, I show how the boomerang came back and hit me.
Finally, I reinfornce why
I believe in the idea of
karma and what
I have learned.
Boomerang
Will the ghosts of my past return to haunt me? I have tirelessly dwelled upon the cosmic notion of karma for years now. These reflections have led me to adopt a new philosophy for my life: I believe in spreading compassion to everyone, everyday—even if that same benevolence fails to return to me immediately. Although this philosophy demands patience and perseverance, I believe that goodness will find me.
Beliefs
Love Family Faith Compassion Dedication
Perseverance Honesty Loyalty Friendship
Carpe Diem Tradition Peace War Strength
Integrity Music Art Unity Freedom Generosity
History Happiness Destiny Equality Karma
Community Creativity Democracy Courage
Humility Gratitude Honor Charity Justice
Enlightenment Learning Quality Humanity
Simplicity Patriotism Tolerance Trust Truth
Wisdom Discipline Respect Spontaneity
Forgiveness Challenge Sacrifice Prayer

1st paragraph: Introduce your belief to the reader.

2nd paragraph: Set up a powerful personal story that shows your connection to the belief.

3rd paragraph: Reveal the major details of the story that prove your connection to the belief.

4th paragraph: Reveal the outcome of the story and the personal impact on your life.

5th paragraph: Reinforce why your belief matters to you and tell what you have learned.
Full transcript