Karma, Please Wake Up

Karma cartoonHis children grew up terrified of him. He expected them to be eager little readers who understood and appreciated Kafka in primary school. Which six-year-old likes to play with mud and cement anyway, or worse—dolls?! His wife remained traumatised for as long as she lived; it seemed she could never learn to cook or do chores as “they should be done”. Today, he lives with a couple of servants in a big house—inherited, we hear—and has successfully and healthily outlived half a dozen family members. Worse: the 65-year-old man doesn’t look a day older than 45.

The divorced lady with her troop of kittens, on the other hand, looks several years older than she is. No one comes to visit her other than pesky salespeople trying to sell self-help books and incense sticks. Her kittens mew her long days away, mewing louder, I think, on special occasions like her kids’ birthdays that she always spends alone. Many people in my neighbourhood claim that her fate is the result of bad karma. She must have been a bad wife; maybe she was unfaithful? When I feel particularly riled at evidence-less accusations like these, I say so. But these people have an indomitable argument:

“She must have committed unpardonable sins in a previous lifetime.”

Arghhh, I want to scream! How conveniently lame to rely on past-life theories to excuse the unfair treatment this woman has got all her life! Karma catches up with you eventually, they claim in ominous tones.

Karma, a dominant belief system in Hinduism and Buddhism that your deeds determine your future, confuses the hell out of me. I want to believe in it because of its inherent righteousness. It is soothing to have faith that misdeeds will be punished and good ones will be rewarded—if not immediately, sometime. But the older I get, the sleepier karma seems to become. People who are pure evil continue to torture those who are less fortunate; cruelty, selfishness, and hypocrisy are almost seen as “street-smart” virtues you SHOULD possess in the modern world “in order to SUCCEED”. Innocent, faultless people who try to help others and be polite are meted out insults, punishments, and ridicule for being so naïve. When does karma plan to fix these glaring instances of sloppiness? Oh, right: in the next lives.

On good days, I find myself trusting karma. When the sun shines down, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky, when a zephyr brings to mind happy moments and positive thoughts, I feel charged up to do good, be good. Karma can be very reassuring; it is easier to pardon your enemies and forget your misgivings when you trust that we get what we deserve.

But this changes on gloomy days when my heart is overfull with the injustice around me, when I feel helpless and frustrated at the hideous unfairness of it all. At such times, karma seems to be a drowsy swelled-head, loath to do its work and inclined to rest in the laurels of our religious books.

My dear karma, you are beautiful in principle. Now if you would only open those stunning eyes, look around, and GET GOING.

*             *             *

I am taking up the April #AtoZChallenge 2019 and will post every day of the month, except Sundays. I look forward to your company!

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19 thoughts on “Karma, Please Wake Up

  1. Karma also seems to go with Twitter trends. Sometimes Karma is a chowkidar, at times sickular but overall a lazy bum passing on the buck to humans and taking unnecessary credit where it isn’t even due. Loved the post

  2. ARG! Right!?
    The typical interpretation of Karma drives me insane. I don’t think it’s accurate. I don’t think we understand it fully.
    I’m just not seeing it work the way, we think it’s “supposed’ too. Murderers and rapists get away with it, jerks seem to fly through life unscathed, so I had to come up with my own interpretation. So far, it’s helped me to suffer with this less.
    I have come to see it as such: Cause and effect. If I’m a jerk to someone else, my actions have repercussions -karma- and probably something negative is going to happen to me at some point, as a direct result of my actions – Karma. OR: I will be given an opportunity to learn something about my behavior when someone is a jerk to me in an unrelated incident- Karma. Does that make any sense? lol

  3. Karma is the new religion nowadays Debo and how we give the wrong interpretation. You are a keen observer of people and it shows in this amazing reflection. And, women are always blamed which is unfortunate. A powerful pen, indeed.

  4. I could have written this post. Agree with most of what you said.

    In some parts I have seen karma working really well. I mean it does catch up with you in the end. But sometimes the scales get tilted horribly wrong. And that leaves me wondering where karma is hibernating at that moment. Guess the rules of the universe are something we’ll never know fully.

    Do people suffer for their sins in the after life? Now that’s an entirely different thesis altogether!

  5. I have had this doubt about karma for the longest time. Now, I have come to believe that it is all in the perception. You believe you do/deserve good things you do if you don’t then you don’t.

    • That is an interesting take on the subject. Perception is all-powerful. Even on days I disbelieve everything, for instance, I still have a lingering faith, although tiny, in the power of positive thinking. 😉

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