kar·ma/ˈkärmə/
1. The sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence,
viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
2. Destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

As a part of my attempt to become a happier, calmer, and more optimistic person (i.e., the opposite of my natural personality), I’ve been thinking a lot about karma. I know, it sounds so very un-scientific.

Karma is the law of moral causation and is a fundamental doctrine in Buddhism.  The Pali term Karma literally means action or doing. Any kind of intentional action whether mental, verbal, or physical, is regarded as Karma. It covers all that is included in the phrase “thought, word and deed”. Generally speaking, all good and bad action constitutes Karma. In its ultimate sense Karma means all moral and immoral volition.

One concept that struck me is the concept that you are your own karma. What you make yourself to be now, you will be in the future. What you are now, is precisely what you have made yourself to be in the past. What you sow, you shall reap.

I’m a true believer in karma. You get what you give,
whether it’s bad or good.
~ Sandra Bullock

Though I don’t believe we are absolutely bound by Karma, I think that Karma is influenced to some extent by external circumstances, surroundings, personality, individual striving, and so forth.  I just never really put conscious effort into changing it before.

It is in this light that I tried the past week to see if I could influence the world.  When a homeless person asked for change, I gave him a $20.  The same for a deaf girl selling sign language cards to make a living.  Whatever I could do to make a difference, I tried it.

You know what?  It didn’t work.  It was like the anti-karma gods got together to smite me for even thinking I could change karma.  And that doesn’t even count my daughter unknowingly running up a $400 bill on the iTunes store using my password.

But sometimes life feels negative because we become so focused on “what’s in it for me?”  So, I’ve decided to continue because it did make me happy.  Just knowing did, even if I’m the only one who knows.  I plan to continue to give of myself and my time, and to give selflessly.

Start believing that you can change things and you will open the doors for change. And you can change things. It’s possible.

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2 Comments

  1. Cheers mate and thanks for this fresh point of view, I really enjoed it.

  2. Very much enjoyed your post and very much in agreement. I’m a believer in meeting and talking to everyone that comes your way even if its just for a blink of an eye. I often tell law students whom I mentor that networking is not what someone can do for you today but what they might be able to do for you three years from now – creating selfless relationships increases your karmic chances for a bright future.