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Karma, Schadenfreude and Gloating - When Bad Things Happen To Bad People

Updated on November 2, 2015

Has anyone ever really done you wrong? Have you been double-crossed, mistreated, hurt, ignored, overlooked, robbed and stabbed in the back? (For some reason at this point I feel an Everly Brothers song coming on.) When something like this happens, most of us have a tendency to pour out our hearts to our friends and family about the one who's done us wrong, and just how much wrong they've done us. And if they know their friendly or family duties like they should, then they swear oaths of eternal vengeance, commiserate on the general rubbishness of life, berate and disparage the wrong-doer in detail and at length. And there's one other thing they always do, too. It just seems like they always, always tell us that, hey, what goes around comes around. Karma, it's a bitch, kid! And they'll get theirs – oh yes, they'll get served – one of these fine days. Just wait and see!

I See You!

Creative Commons licence
Creative Commons licence | Source

Karma. Chameleon?

Do you ever get tired of waiting and seeing? Sometimes when you've been crossed and mistreated by a bad, bad, naughty person, you'd really rather a lightning bolt came down out of the blue and struck them down like the wicked they are, for the sake of the righteous! Is there really such a thing as karma, and is it worth waiting for?

Well, no-one (except maybe Buddha) can offer any guarantees on the subject. But personally I have seen what has at least appeared to be the work of karma in operation in my life. If that's what it indeed was, then it is a mighty and an awesome power! (And a little bit scary, perhaps). On one occasion it worked out its path to justice (of a sentence of personal loss and grief) over a period of just a few hours. (This was following some pretty intense prayer: the end result was damned unnerving and drastic, unless you looked at it as pure happenstance and coincidence. Which of course I do.) The second occasion took months to wind its way through harassment, cruelty and unfeeling hazing, prior to a conclusion of professional career disaster for the perpetrators, satisfying in its poetic justice, seemingly ordained by a random and impersonal fate.

Hey, don't feel bad for these peeps! They weren't good people: if I was just a little meaner I'd say they got what was coming to them. (Okay, I am mean and I say it anyway.) I don't think that I need to feel bad about it either. I didn't do a damn thing to anyone (unless we're including some pretty fervent and intense conversations with the Big Guy upstairs). (Let's disregard the candle lighting and chanting for – someone – to get exactly what they deserved, that one time. That was on behalf of a friend so I don't think it counts. Plus I'm not worried about the Rule of Three in that case. The person on the receiving end getting exactly what they deserved, they needed to worry. Me getting what I deserved three times over? Hey, I deserve kittens, puppies, Caribbean holidays and chocolate. Maybe a few gin and root beers. Why should I worry?)

Do bad people eventually get what they deserve? Based on my personal observation, yeah, sometimes they do. Should you hold your breath waiting for it? Hell no. Is it guaranteed? You're asking the wrong person. Should you enjoy it on the rare occasions you get to witness it happening? It would be very naughty of me at this point to say 'Hell yeah!'

Just try not to gloat too much when it happens, that's my advice. I'm not trying to talk about forgiveness. Let offenders and meanies deal with their own sins and work out their own salvation – it's not your business or responsibility. But it's better for your soul to concentrate on your own life, loves and objectives, rather than brooding on who done you wrong. Enjoy it, let it go, and move on – and remember, karma is an equal opportunity judge, jury and executioner. So be careful – and good! - out there!


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      Karma exists alright 24 months ago

      Oh, karma is real alright, and bad people do get paid back. This past winter and fall I saw two people who betrayed me in ways you would agree were sickening really get theirs and good. It came out of the blue upon them in both cases. I was not watching and looking to see if it ever happened either.

      It not only happened to them but I found out about it in such clear and amazing ways it could only have been the hand of God. You're free to disbelieve that, and call that fate. I am not a Christian and I do not belong to any of the three Abrahamic desert religions. But I know God when I see him/her/it/them. This was that presence without doubt.

      In each case of karma, the deserving parties not only got what he and she deserved, it came from a seemingly innocuous misfortune (in my opinion) but absolutely dragged these people to their knees in pain. One of them literally wept on TV news about it. The other described it in horrific detail on Facebook and tried to laugh about it but you could sense her embarrassment, pain, sadness and fear.

      I read about hers today. :)

      How did I find out? I posted on Facebook myself, mentioning how good my life has been recently and expressing gratitude for that, and vaguely mentioned bullies who had tried hard to bring down my soul because the experiences strengthened me. After posting, I felt a quiet voice within say, "Google her name." I did. Her Facebook post was public.

      I read it. I smiled quietly to myself all afternoon.

      The smile is not because I take delight in her suffering. It's because seeing it finally happen after all of her - and the male bully's, a few weeks ago - boasting, wave surfing and smug self-assurance karma would never come for her reminded me there is a God, and that God is watching, and does care for its own gentler, kinder children.

      If that is schadenfreude, I regret not a bit of it.