Instant Karma’s Gonna Get You

Nightmare Cafe?

Nightmare Cafe?

In my email this morning were these words from the WordPress Daily Prompt (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/daily-prompt-karma-chameleon/): Let’s pretend that science has proven that karma is real. Your words and actions will influence what happens to you in the future. How (if at all) will you change your ways?

Wow, talk about a wake-up call before a gal has had her morning coffee. The question intrigued me.

I see karma as a double-edged sword.

For example, don’t we all want to believe the other guy is gonna get his? You know who I’m talking about… the guy who cuts you off in traffic and then goes sailing by with nary a cop in sight; the co-worker who takes credit for your brainy idea and reaps mega praise from the boss; the fellow who seems like Mr. Right until you discover he has a hidden Mrs. Right that he’s neglected to tell you about.

Remember the Avon Lady from the 1960s? She’d ring door bells with the catchphrase, “Avon Calling!” That is pretty much the way I see Lady Karma. I visualize a substantial woman who looks very much like the late Nell Carter storming up to some loser’s door and ringing the door bell. I can hear her now: “Hey, chump! Lady Karma is waiting out here for you, ready to whip your sad ass back into cosmic shape! You ready for a little karmic justice, chump?” Just at that point, lightning flashes and small animals seek shelter.

But the world is set right again. Ah, how satisfying a thought. I sure hope I’m there to see these guys get what’s coming to them.

A little java with my karma...

A little java with my karma…

Yeah, we all love the concept of karma.

Until it applies to us.

Yeah, that’s right, you heard me. US.

We like to talk about karma, but when you get right down to it, none of us believes we, personally, are really deserving of retribution. Human beings are great at self-deception. We’re only too eager to ascribe to others bad motives and cruel intentions. But when it comes to us, we’re cosmically blind. It’s just good old human nature to justify our own behavior as logical and reasonable. We can always find a rationale for the hurt and unhappiness we inflict.

I suspect if science were to tell us that karma was a scientific fact, very few of us would change our bad ass ways. We know smoking cigarettes will kill us – that doesn’t stop some of us from lighting up. Getting rip roaring drunk and engaging in knock-down fights isn’t the brightest of ideas, but for some folks that is a Saturday night pastime.

We like to think we’re creatures capable of reason, but are we? Look at the mess the world is in; you can’t help but wonder why we continue to wage wars that we know will ultimately lead to our own destruction. Yet we seem unwilling to take action to save ourselves from going over the cliff.

Just because we know a thing is true, we don’t necessarily do anything about it. So it’s unlikely that scientific corroboration of karma would have any impact on most of us.

And yet…

I personally believe in karma. Or maybe I just want to believe. I like to think that every affirmative action I take has a beneficial effect somewhere in the universe, even if I can’t see it. Like a kid who tosses a pebble into the lake and watches the water’s concentric rings of motion, I envision my good intentions and actions journeying beneficently into the unknown, having a positive impact on someone or on something I may never see.

It’s a pleasant conceit, whether or not it’s true. I have no proof good karma exists, only the hope that it does.

There’s a biblical verse that says we reap what we sow. Now there’s a sobering thought – and a karmic warning for you. You sow dissension, you will certainly be on the receiving end of it. If you sow happiness, maybe some of it will come your way. Maybe not. There are no guarantees in the universe.

Still, I don’t think I want to gamble against karma. There may be a link between cause and effect. I’m too full of self-interest to throw the dice. On the chance that she’s a vengeful lady, I think I’ll treat Lady Karma with a little respect.

You know why? I think she might be waiting for me at the end of the line, ready to exact a price. Who is to say that there might not be a karmic debt to be paid by each of us? If so, I don’t want to be on the receiving end of bad karma. I think I better get my act together, just in case. I like to think of it as the ‘Instant Karma Insurance Policy‘ – you pay up now… or you pay later.

John Lennon said it best:

Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead
What in the world you thinking of
Laughing in the face of love
What on earth you tryin’ to do
It’s up to you, yeah you!
Are you talking to ME??

Are you talking to ME??

That’s right, he’s talking to YOU. And ME.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t wait until Lady Karma knocks you on the head. Now is the time to get serious about your karma, chump! It’s up to you – yeah, you!

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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25 Responses to Instant Karma’s Gonna Get You

  1. parishkathy says:

    Kate–I am so in awe of your mastery of words and thoughts and images. You are definitely one of the most articulate and thought provoking bloggers I’ve come across in my heretofore short blogging journey. I think I want to be like you when I grow up! But still with my “voice”.

  2. stacilys says:

    Hey Kate, great post. Really well written.

    “Human beings are great at self-deception.”
    –Oh yah, and not just a select few, but all of us. We think we’re so smart. We’re all really just dumb sheep, needing a shepherd. Because even though we try and strive to be perfect, nobody is. At least in these earthly bodies. Ok, there was one perfect one and He’s the one I’m gonna trust in. =)

    “We like to think weโ€™re creatures capable of reason, but are we? Look at the mess the world is in; you canโ€™t help but wonder why we continue to wage wars that we know will ultimately lead to our own destruction. Yet we seem unwilling to take action to save ourselves from going over the cliff.”
    –Hahahaha. The world is definitely a mess. We all need help.

    Thanks again Kate.
    =)

  3. Lady Karma, has my address, I just know it. I’m trying hard not to give her any ideas. I enjoyed this humorous take on Karma, Kate. Tis best if we all have our best foot forward, I believe. No sense getting her out of her chair, ya know. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I think Lady Karma and Mr. Murphy’s law have me on speed dial. Ugh.

    Have a great day,
    Audrey

  4. Great post, Kate!

    If believing in karma makes a person more aware of how they treat the people around them then this can only be a good thing. I have always lived by the rule that you should treat others in the manner that you would like to be treated yourself. It doesn’t cost much to be polite or hold doors open for other folk or even smile and nod good morning to a complete stranger as you pass them.

    I remember sitting on the London Underground once, a heavily pregnant woman stepped on the train and couldn’t find anywhere to sit and so I stood up and offered her my seat. She looked at me as if I had suddenly grown an extra head; she’d not expected anyone to give up their seat for her. She sat down and thanked me profusely as we rode to the next stop where I got off. It was only afterwards that I realized how sad the situation was. Have we really become that ignorant of our fellow humans that an act of common decency is seen as something strange?

    Perhaps if more people were aware of karma the world would be an infinitely better place to live in.

    Heather xxx

    • Kate Loveton says:

      I recently had a similar experience, Heather. I’d taken my aged mother out for a bite to eat. As I helped her toward the door, a young man stood up from across the room and hurried over to the door as we were approaching. He quickly opened the door for us and smiled. I was taken aback – seldom do people act so decisively and kindly toward others. I looked at him with some surprise and then smiled. I said jokingly, “Your mama raised you right!” He grinned and said, “I’ll tell her you said that.”

      I was in a much happier frame of mind after that, as was he, I’ll bet. A little kindness, and people feel better.

      Thanks for your comment. I suspect you have a bit of karma halo… I don’t think you have to worry about any lectures from Lady Karma. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Hi Kate,

        I find it slightly upsetting that as a society we have become so used to being ignored or the brunt of the ignorance and rudeness of others. I still find it shocking that strangers are taken aback when you have done them a good deed. It has always been my understanding that you are polite to those you meet, hold doors open for people behind you, allow less able folk to take your seat on the bus – isn’t that what common decency is all about?

        There are such quick and simple things that we can do to brighten the days of other people yet very few of us seem to take the time to do so. Have you ever noticed that if you smile at a stranger as you walk past them that nine times out of ten they will smile back at you? How much time and effort does it take to curl your lips into a smile? It’s not like it costs anything to do so but may make the difference to the recipients day and turn it from a bad one into something good.

        I doubt I have a karma halo and if I do I bet it’s slightly wonky….

        Heather xxx

  5. gpeynon says:

    Excellent post. You really connected with me when you mentioned the guy in the car and not a cop to be seen. My belief in karma always take a little knock when I fail to see those blue lights turn on behind him (or her) and chase him (or her) down the road, but then I think maybe they’ll get their’s another day.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      We can only hope… maybe a police car will pull up and a Nell Carter look alike wearing a policeman’s uniform will emerge, ticket book in hand, and greet him: “Hey Chump – you think you own the highway?!” And, of course, she’ll smack him alongside the head with her ticket book… I’d like a ringside seat to that!

  6. Excellent response to the prompt and a very enjoyable read. Lady Karma…I love it. Every time I do something to taint this halo I drag around, I’ll be sure to look over my shoulder ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. Harliqueen says:

    Great post! I am a big believer in karma, and yeah, even for myself, if I do something slightly naughty (I try to be good all the time, honest!) I know it’s gonna come back round and bite me at some point ๐Ÿ™‚

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