Karma - Whether You Like It Or Not
No matter what religion you are, everyone has heard of Karma. Sometimes it is labeled by another name such as "luck", "an answered prayer", or perhaps even "fate". Whatever you call it, it's a concept that requires somewhat of any open mind, and, at times, a lot of patience. Luckily, I have an extremely open mind, but I don't always have a lot of patience.
First, let me clarify on what the meaning of Karma really is. I've seen people use it in so many ways; most of which identifying it as a process of "revenge" and not a process of balance. Karma can easily be explained as a process of "cause and effect". If you do "A", then "B" will happen. An example would be if you pushed a ball across the floor. Of course the ball will not stand still, it will roll away from you. Why did it roll away? Because you pushed it. Simple concept to understand, right?
I'm the type of person, if you needed it, I'd give you the last dollar I had. All I expect in return is for you to appreciate it and use it wisely. I don't expect it to be paid back (even if you did ask to borrow it) because I know it will come back to me ten fold. It's not a demand or even something I expect, it just happens. I know it may sound kind of weird and a little hard to fathom, but let me give you an example. My grandmother called me one day to ask if I had a specific material to make a native implement for dancing. The materials weren't for her, but for a friend of hers, whom was never identified to me, other than it being a male teacher. She told me she needed about 1/2 (at least) - 3/4 of a quart Ziplocfull. I told her I would call her back when I got home from work to let her know how much I had and if I had enough. The material she asked for takes a long time to collect because they grow in small, sporadic pods with about 30 seeds at the most, which is why I understood her friend's desperation. When I got home, I was able to fill the bag 3/4 of the way, saving only a little for myself so that I could plant them and grow more. (I don't have the plant myself. I had been collecting from any and all plants I came across over the years. Since they aren't abundant unless grown in your own yard, it takes literally months to even years to collect that much.) I called my grandmother back to let her know I did have enough and that I'll have my mom drop them off at her house on her way to work. My mother told me my grandmother thanked me for helping her friend and that was that. A few days later, my grandmother called me up again to tell me her friend was completely ecstatic when she gave him the bag and that he was so overwhelmed, he gave me a couple of free shirts. Was I surprised? Yes, definitely. Did I expect anything? No, definitely not. If there was anything I would have expected, it would have maybe been a thank you card with a picture of what he and his students had made the material with. (I love to see what people make). This was one of my favorite memories of Karma. Not because I got something from it, but because I only wanted to help them, knowing how hard it is to get what they needed, and in the end, it was sincerely appreciated.
Yes, I have had experiences of "negative" Karma as well. Unfortunately, when I was younger, I was ignorant and stole (from a friend no less). I knew it hurt and bothered her, but I, for some reason, didn't care. I wanted those things I stole. (To this day, I still don't know what possessed me to steal, especially from a friend). A few years rolled by, I had gym/physical education class. I had my wallet shoved in a small bag, shoved in my backpack. My backpack was pretty full of stuff since I had all my books, gym clothes, shoes, and some other things. Since gym/p.e. was the first class of my day, I knew my wallet was in my bag. Once class was over and we all went back to the locker room to change, I noticed my bag was different. When I opened my bag, the small bag I had my wallet in was now on the top (inside) of my bag, not shoved in there like I had it. Of course I search my bag for my wallet and can't find it. The bell rang so I had to run out to my next class. I searched my bag some more, but of course it's not in there. (Yes, someone stole it.) It wouldn't have been that bad if it were just my wallet and money (Even losing my ID wasn't that big of a deal.), but it really was a big deal losing that wallet because in it was the only picture I had of my dad's god-granddaughter (now estranged along with her mother) and a picture (the only one I had) of my uncle we lost a few years prior to that incident. It bothered me for so long, and still does. I just chalk it up to a lesson learned. And in case you're wondering, yes, I knew who took my wallet (Used my intuition, but that's another story), but the police said I couldn't accuse anyone without any evidence. They questioned her, but she denied everything. They said she probably took the money and dumped the wallet and everything else in the trash knowing if she got caught with it, she'd be in big trouble. And just as a side note, about a year later, I watched my cousin, for no reason other than cause that girl was staring at her and giving her "stupid" looks, give that girl a thorough beatdown. No, my cousin didn't know what happened. No, I didn't tell her later. And no, it doesn't make anything better. It just happened. But I now understand how Karma can have different types of effects.
What does any of this have to do with you? Maybe everything. Maybe nothing at all. It's just my way of possibly getting you to open your eyes and see what's going on around you. Are you happy with what's going on around you? Or are you unhappy? Do you think that, just possibly, you could have an effect on what's going on? And you could change it? What if you could? Would you take that chance? With all that I said previously, could it have been possible that I could have changed the outcome in both stories? Yes, I could have. I could have said "no" to my grandmother's friend. I could have given him only a little bit and said he can go fend for himself because it takes way too long to collect those and I didn't want to give away my time to someone I didn't know. I could have. But I didn't. I chose to say "You know what? He needs help. I know it took a long time to collect all of that, but it's okay. I can start again." I'm sure some people are thinking 2 shirts aren't worth all those years of collecting, but just the appreciation was well worth it. Knowing that I helped someone made me feel great and nothing/noone could possibly change that or make me feel otherwise. And in the second story, yes, I could have changed that too. I didn't have to steal. I could have fought the urges. I could have confessed and said I took them and took whatever punishment I got. But I didn't. I chose to be greedy and hurt my friend. I'm still hurt by what I did. Not because of what happened to me in return, but because I hurt my friend. It really wasn't worth it. It was stupid. Thankfully, I learned from that experience and didn't go on to continue the cycle.
Hopefully reading my experiences will help you to be able to make your own decisions, knowing that every action has a reaction.