Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Karma is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect. (Wikipedia)

I'm not sure I believe in Karma. I've been thinking about it recently after a friend told me it's how she gets out of bed in the morning. It's a nice concept-do well to others and you'll be rewarded. Do the wrong thing and the universe will bite you in the butt.

But what about when bad things happen to good people? They do happen, whether they are an outcome of an action we created, random violence, illness, or general bad luck, can we avoid that by simply being an extraordinary friend, relative and helpful stranger?

I've known people in my life that I've wished bad karma on. Doesn't that negate my good karma? Every time I grumble at a bad driver or fume at a rude sales person am I creating a notch on my karma board?

I've been thinking about what I've done so far this month that was purely for someone else. I'm relieved to say it's a nice list. But tomorrow will that list keep me from a car accident, a broken bone, a home repair bill or, and I shudder to think of it, something happening to someone I love? Having that security would be fabulous right? But bad things are inevitable.

It's how we let those bad things affect us that is the true test. Do you blame God, the universe, another person, yourself? Some experiences are so horrible it may be hard to resist the urge to curl up in a ball and be done with life.

Gavin de Becker wrote a fabulous book called The Gift of Fear. I don't know which one of my friends I am forcing to read it at the moment so I can't quote exactly but he basically says after someone is a victim they choose one of two paths. Either they remain the victim and let it define them or they decide to become empowered, gain strength and knowledge from it. The latter may not come right away. Healing tends to include blame and hurt. But eventually the decision has to be made to move on or stay in the hole that was created.

Maybe that is where an "idea" of karma is appropriate....the golden rule in a sense. If you're a great friend and good person you'll be surrounded by people who love and support you, pulling you out of any hole. If you tend to be the energy vampire, selfish and self-centered to everyone around you, well, bring a pillow into your hole. You may be there awhile.