Cloquet seniors share 'This I believe' essays

 

February 23, 2024



The Power of Karma

By Juliauna Nygaard

I believe in karma. I believe in good karma, but I also believe in bad karma. I believe the things we say and do will come back to us. I believe karma reflects on personal responsibility and ethical behavior. We are responsible for our own actions, and they can influence our own life’s trajectory. Our deeds, whether good or bad, will eventually return to us.

Karma, like a boomerang, throws back what we give and teaches us many of life’s valuable lessons. Growing up, my parents always taught me the importance of kindness, honesty, and respect. I remember Grandma always emphasizing, “Do unto others as you would want done to you.” She called it the Golden Rule, which is in fact a real rule originating from ancient Egypt. This isn’t just about being a good person but acknowledging the impact of our words and actions.

In my own life, I have seen karma at work. I have observed that a small act of kindness can create a chain reaction. For example, when someone pays for your meal at a restaurant, you are more likely to pay for the next person’s meal, and so on. However, I have also seen how negative actions can lead to unforeseen consequences. Our actions send waves through the universe, touching lives in ways we may never notice. It will all come back to us.

Karma isn’t about fear or retribution; It’s about knowing and understanding the interconnectedness of everything. It’s about recognizing that we play a role in the grand scheme of things and taking responsibility for our actions. We should always strive to make good choices.

So, with that being said, I will always try my best to live my life with kindness and respect and honesty. I believe we reap what we sow, and that one day, the kindness I try to put out will come back to me. Karma encourages us to be the best versions of ourselves and will help shape our lives. After all, we are the authors of our own stories, and every action we take contributes to the narrative. Karma, like the sun, illuminates our deeds and guides our journey through life.

Are We Still United?

By Ryan Huls

I believe in the power of unity, even when it feels like politics are pulling us apart. Picture a tug of war game. Everyone’s straining, digging their heels in, and the rope is tight. It feels like any minute now, one side is going to tumble and it’ll be game over. But what if instead of pulling harder, we start walking towards each other?

Sure, it’s not as simple. It takes more than just letting go of the rope. It requires us to listen, to understand, to respect the people on the other end of the rope. It’s about realizing we’re all in this game together, and the only way we can truly win is if we meet in the middle.

We’re living in a time where it feels like everyone’s chosen a side. Everyone’s got an opinion and everyone believes they’re right. And that’s OK. It’s OK to have strong beliefs and to stand up for what you think is right. But it’s also important to remember the person on the other side of the argument is doing the same.

The real victory isn’t in proving the other side wrong, but in understanding their perspective, in learning something new, and in finding common ground. It’s about turning opponents into teammates, where we’re all working towards the same goal.

So yes, politics are dividing America. But that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. We have the power to change the game. All we need to do is let go of the rope and start walking towards the middle. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be quick, but I believe it’s the only way we can fix America.

Walking The Dog

By Jacob Dunaiski

I know we have all been in a situation where we see a person walking their dog at some odd hour or when the temperature is colder than the arctic. You think, why would anyone do that, but I promise you there is a good reason. Walking your dog every day can help improve your health and build a bond with your friend which I believe is crucial for anyone.

First, going for a daily walk can improve all aspects of your health. Just going for a 30-minute walk can help your cardiovascular health, bones, and reduce the risk of diseases in the future. Walks also help your mental health. Going for a walk relieves stress, boosts your mood, and helps you sleep better at night. In my own experience walks with my dog help me reflect on the day I just had. It helps me remember the important things and let go of things I do not need. Especially in the winter, going for a walk on a cold, cloudy, snowy night just walking my dog without worrying about anything is one of the best feelings you can experience. Just the ability to leave all your problems when you walk out into the bitter cold.

The second benefit is keeping your dog happy and healthy. When you go for a walk, your dog gets the same mental health benefits as you. Walks can help them get the mental stimulation they need to live a happy life. It also releases excess energy so your dog will sleep better at night. Your dog craves your attention and wants to spend as much time together as possible. Walks are one of the best ways to spend one-on-one time with your dog. This will strengthen your bond with your dog, and this leads to less attention-seeking behavior.

I know not all of you own a dog or any pets, but the principle still applies to everyone. Get outside and go for a walk with or without a pet. You will see the benefits right away. Also, do not use being busy as an excuse. I have a job and in sports almost year-round I still find time to go out for a walk. So, in fiery heat or freezing cold find a suitable time and even if it is only a ten-minute walk with your dog it will prove amazing.

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Cloquet High School teacher Jason Richardson had seniors in his college prep English class write “This I Believe” narratives, based on a project National Public Radio has done in the past. During its four years on NPR, “This I Believe” engaged listeners in a discussion of the core beliefs that guide their daily lives.

“It was a welcomed break after writing heavy research papers all semester,” Richardson said. “These seniors elected to take a hard-hitting, college-level class that doesn’t offer the benefit of college credits. Sometimes us older people think the younger generation lacks focus and work ethic. I admit I often find myself thinking that when I see the amount of phone use. But this group of seniors showed a lot of grit all semester.”

Richard decided he’d like to share parts of his student writings with the Pine Knot.

“Good writing just takes a lot of hard work,” he said. “There’s no way around it. I hope the community can see our future is in good hands.”

 
 

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