Do you believe in Karma, in retributive justice? Do you subscribe to the belief that what goes around comes around? I do. There’s not always a direct link. In other words, just because you share an act of kindness with another human being doesn’t mean they’ll return the favor. People are people. Some are kind and considerate—others, not so much. However, I’ve seen enough good things come back to those who have done good deeds, albeit not always directly, that I believe in Karma. Giving back comes back.

What’s Best for you?

Given a choice between doing my best for others and feeling good about myself, or allowing anger to live in my head, heart, and soul — I know I should choose the good, and I usually do. Doesn’t it make sense that we as humans are healthier and happier when we look for the bright side — when we try to make a positive impact on others? Volunteering Your Way to Better Health and Wellness.  Most people are happier when they’re giving back.

Yes, I believe in Karma. Not in some mysterious spiritual way,  you see, I believe we control our Karma. When we react in anger, we often receive anger in return, not always, but when we do it’s unpleasant for everyone. When we act with love and compassion, we may get it returned to us, not always, but often enough, at least for me, to make it worthwhile and meaningful. And besides, giving back feels good.

A Story of Karma

A co-worker and friend shared this story with me. Her morning routine is hectic (can you relate?) she gets the kids ready for school, feeds the dog, packs lunches, and makes sure her fiancé is properly dressed, you know … life in America.

One morning, after dropping the kids off at school, she had just enough time to grab a cup coffee, and make a quick stop at the dollar store. As she pulled into the parking lot, she recognized a homeless man she’d seen before. So she bought him a cup as well. When she went to give it to him a homeless lady was by his side. She didn’t have to think. She gave her cup of coffee to the lady. Without another thought, she quickly went to the dollar store.

While in the store a man approached her and asked her name. At first, my friend was startled. She wondered why a stranger was following her. He told her he’d seen what she’d done with the coffee and asked why she didn’t get herself a cup. She explained she had but gave it to the lady and that in her mind it was no big deal. He said that he’d thought as much, and that it was a big deal. The man reached into his wallet and handed her a one hundred dollar bill only saying, “This is for your kindness.”

What’s the Lesson?

Is the lesson that when we do good, we’ll be rewarded — with hundred dollar bills? No. Is it that we should do good in the hopes of a reward? Not really. Is it because that’s what we’re supposed to do? Kinda sorta.

The lesson is that when we do good things it creates ripples. Like dropping a rock into a still pond the ripple we create spreads in every direction. Some will reach other people, and they’ll pass it forward, other ripples may hit the shore unimpeded, and still other waves may come back and wash over us. The lesson is, do good, and good, will follow. If we all do enough good it could create a tidal wave, couldn’t it?

Photo by Javier Molina on Unsplash