Karma: (in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in one of his successive existences, thought to decide his fate for the next.
I think all of us who speak English fluently have heard the saying “what goes around comes around.”
Usually we say this when someone commits an act which we consider reproachful. A certain individual scams millions of lower income families in order to become a millionaire, and when we find out about it we hope and wish that God -or the simple reciprocity of nature, hence the saying “what goes around comes around”- will surely find a way to punish that individual.
Similarly, many of us tend to assume that if we act in a moral way, such as helping the poor and/or those less fortunate than us or even just treat others with respect (without taking in to consideration race, sex, religion etc) we will be rewarded in one way or another, at least eventually.
I must admit, I’ve spent lots of time putting a great deal of thought into this. I have come to the conclusion that I myself do not have enough information about the past and futures of every single individual on this Earth to be able to come up with a conclusive conclusion on the subject (please pardon the redundancies).
I have wondered, however, that if these common beliefs are true, than this must mean that those who are currently in less fortunate situations (for example, those with incurable, painful illnesses, victims of accidents who are left paralyzed in certain parts of the body, the millions of poor and starving throughout the world) are merely the victims of Karma, or “what goes around comes around”.
Looking at it in this perspective, wouldn’t this mean that those who suffer are getting what they deserve? Likely having committed immoral acts at a younger age or, depending on what you believe, in a past life?
I have lived in parts of the world where poverty and lack of proper nourishment are a common way of life for entire families including children, and I think it is horrible to adhere to such a belief.
On another note, I have known people throughout my life who seem to be truly immoral by nature. Greedy, angry, vengeful, racist individuals who spend a great deal of their time preaching hate and justifying the need for conflict in every aspect of life, yet many of these individuals are physically healthy , financially stable and have even managed to keep a spouse (who shares similar views) for many years as well as bearing healthy and successful children.
Meanwhile, I have met some of the most graceful, loving, benevolent individuals who adopt and take care of animals they have rescued from the streets, have devoted entire lifetimes to caring for the sick and elderly, and rarely utter a word which may disrespect another individual, yet some of these very same people suffer more than the previously mentioned group.
I will dare to use a family member of mine as an example of these benevolent individuals, a woman who shares just about all of the characteristics just cited. However, she gave birth to a child with a severe case of Down syndrome. She is currently taking care of her elderly mother who is incontinent and suffers from senile dementia, and her husband, also a wonderful human being, was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and has found his health in rapid decline in light of frequent sessions of chemotherapy.
Why is this?
I thought good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people.
The reason I am writing this blog is neither to deny nor attest to the notion that Karma is real, but rather to take a more detailed look at the subject while loosening our firm grip on the belief system with which we may have been raised, which may deter our minds from a more objective way of thinking.
I often wonder if the possibility exists that even if we are good throughout our lives, we may be paying for the mistakes of our ancestors, which may sound utterly absurd to many. Or, even more ridiculous for others, the earlier mentioned notion that those who suffer are suffering for a reason, possibly something they did in a past life.
Maybe those who suffer are actually being given opportunities to learn and improve themselves in the near or distant future, although I couldn’t understand how this could be the case for a five year old girl dying of malnutrition, unlikely to make it to six.
Or are our situations the simple result of being at the wrong (or right) place at the wrong (or right) time, or having been brought up in the wrong (or right) part of the world, or within a given family or situation, either extremely difficult or extremely forgiving (as may be the case for those born into royal families).
I’m sure there are great deals of people who think those poor and starving children around the world are merely getting a spanking for having behaved badly in some other past reality.
Or is life just cruel and relentless to whoever ends up on the wrong side of the fence by chance?
This is, to many, an extremely complex and controversial topic.
A great deal of religions, either globally practiced or pagan, have attempted to explain it.
Feel free to express your opinion………