February, 2012

11 Feb 2012, by


Ever had a string of experiences that made you wonder why you were attracting bad karma?  Without getting into disturbing details (or launching my blood pressure to a sky-high range) let me just say that seemingly nice, reasonable people who have presented themselves as capable, upstanding citizens have shown sides to me recently that are cold, closed and greedy.  Adding to my shock is that I have, in some of these instances, gone beyond my comfort zone and believed that if I took chances with some of these individuals – “paying it forward” so to speak – it would pay off in the form of good karma coming back to me.  I even said it out loud. Now I realize that was a mistake.

A mistake to want it in the first place.  Doing good things, say do-gooders through history, is the payoff.  The altruism itself is the reward. To expect or even wish for more is the mistake. 

My husband and I conduct our personal business with an eye to how it affects others, too.  If we feel we are helping someone and ourselves, we will be more likely to say yes.  And, we put a dollar value on intangibles.  If something is better or healthier for our family, for example, we will pay a premium for it.   People who just look at the bottom line not only don’t get it – they don’t like it.  They may judge it as stupid and/or try to take advantage of the situation. We draw the line when we start to be treated that way.  But we won’t change our ways.   At the end of our life we would like to look back and believe we acted fairly.

Noble sounding ambitions aside, it is when we start expecting some return on that approach that we lose our way.  There is hubris in that attitude.  Hubris is one of my favorite words, by the way.  If karma is about a cause and effect, that whatever you do comes back to you, then acting with hubris isn’t smart. Hubris is excessive pride or confidence and in classic literature usually leads to a character’s come-uppance. 

So what’s the answer?  Ignore the ungenerous and unkind behavior?  In a word, yes.  Recognize it and be aware of the potential danger in it (don’t be stupid) but keep your eyes on the prize.  Focus on the good in the situation…and in the people with whom you are dealing.  And surprise!  Therein lies the prize.  Because there is good in anything if you choose to see it.  If nothing else, a lesson to be learned and wisdom to be gained.  Remember there is a yin and yang to life and the machinations living this world often requires.  Embrace the “yuck”, as I have so often called it, and wait.  The “payoff” will be revealed.  If we really open our eyes wide – and still don’t expect it…

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