Karma. It’s a word that our culture has become so flippant with in the last few years. It gets used to justify horrible things and to shame thoughtless people. Thrown around like a weapon. It has always kind of made me flinch when people use it. Maybe because it doesn’t sit well with me and is a word very entrenched in a religious system that is not always gracious or necessarily kind.And I can see how it could appease our angry souls when we are wronged. In those moments when we have no recourse for unjust acts against us, but we must remember that Karma has to go both ways.
So if you really believe that somehow the universe keeps track of everyone’s rights and wrongs and makes sure that we all get a balanced ledger, I have a question for you:
What must you think of my precious Madeline? What horrible atrocious things did she do to deserve her repercussion? I’m aware that she was not perfect, that we all are born with a selfish nature, but her short impact on this earth was not such that it warranted her death. Her helpless body being struck by a careless driver was not a direct result of her evil deeds.
Even for myself, I would be devastated if anyone thought that the deaths of Colin and Madeline are somehow evening up the score for me. That I deserve all of this trauma and grief and pain because of my past sins. There are many times in my life that I am saved from what I do deserve and other times in which the burdens I bear will be greater than the output.
I believe that those who show love and compassion to others will often experience them in return. Generally, good choices beget good things and poor choices beget poor things. Yet, this is not a rule or law like 72 or gravity. I am confident that if I asked anyone to name someone they know of who has suffered unfairly or someone who had more than they deserved, the list would be long. This life is not fair or just.
In some ways karma would make life easier, there would be no need for vengeance. The universe would take care of everything and we wouldn’t have to consider making sure people paid for their mistakes. But then how would grace and humility and forgiveness fit in? Where would we learn about second chances and starting again? And when would we ever experience the beauty of receiving something that we could never earn?