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.
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.
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:
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!
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!