Karma’s a bitch they say. Stories of big karmic lessons greet us each day. People who have wronged the masses come tumbling down. Everyone from Bernie Madoff to Osama Bin Laden has supposedly felt the hand of karma slap them senseless. I have to admit that one of my favorite karma stories is Betty Broderick, you know the once beautiful and fashion conscious San Diego housewife who is now known as a crazy, jilted murdering ex-wife. You might have seen the TV movie starring drama queen extraordinaire, Meredith Baxter. No one plays a scorned woman like Meredith Baxter. Anyway, the slim and chic Betty did a bad thing: she didn’t wait for karma to take care of her cheating husband and his new wife. She took matters into her own hands and killed both of them. Okay, that was revenge. So, karma had to teach her the lesson that revenge is not a positive reaction to life situations. Did karma teach a lesson? Yes. While it’s true, she got to whack her cheating husband and his new wife, karma rewarded her with a stiff prison sentence and about 100 pounds of extra body weight.
Karma is not always a well publicized media event or courtroom drama. Supposedly, it does its best work in quiet. For instance, one “enlightened” teacher taught me that gossip mongers might themselves experience the backhand of karma by becoming the subject of vicious rumors. Or maybe those who whine might be forced to listen to the complaints of another for an extended period of time. And let’s not forget how karma likes to take down the self-righteous. How many stories are there involving preachers who love to rant hate-filled words against homosexuality but are later caught in bed with other men?
While some embrace karma; others reject it as a silly notion. There are those who believe that no cosmic help exists. They credit “karmic” occurrences to coincidence or my favorite theory of all time – to the interaction with ourselves in multi-universes. I like the multi-universe theory because it allows me to think I travel a lot more than I do. Anyway, while some totally reject the idea of karma; some like it because karma gives a certain sense of hope and justice.
I do have some problems with the idea of karma when it makes a point of picking on innocent people. It seems that there are many times when karma likes to teach the guilty by taking down innocent bystanders. Karma assumes that if it kills a spouse or best friend, the offending individual who needed to understand karmic justice will learn a valuable lesson because they have lost someone. But what does the dead spouse or best friend learn? They learn they are dead. What does he or she get out of the entire karmic experience? Pretty much nothing.
I know I can hear the karma experts shaking their head in dismay at my words. They do not like those who are not trained in karma to talk about it. They believe you have to delve deep into mystical religions and writings to understand what karma is about. I like the Reader’s Digest version which says “What goes around comes around.” Does that mean that there is a Supreme Being up there doling out karma cookies? I don’t know to be honest. I think if a Supreme Being was that interested, he or she would take more care as to what goes on in this world and eliminate the need for karmic justice. I know there is that whole “free will” argument, but to be honest, I think that is just a great cop out to explain why the Supreme Being didn’t deliver the goods.
Sorry, I got off topic a bit, and please no one volunteer to save my soul. What about the innocent people karma is supposed to help? What about the people who were unceremoniously dumped or fired or hurt or made ill or neglected? What will karma do for them? Well, it seems like nothing at the time they need karma the most. It always seems that we have to wait and wait for karma to make the world right again, and sometimes it doesn’t even happen in a person’s lifetime. What kind of karma crap is that?
I used to think that it was as I was taught by so many: “You reap what you sow” but as life goes on, I figured out that this is a bunch of crap. Often we sow far more good than we ever reap or we reap the benefits from someone else’s sowing. Either way, karma does not always do its job. Will I give up on karma? Nah, I don’t think so. Like I said, it gives a little hope when someone screws you royally and you have no immediate recourse to get him or her back. Oh, I guess we could forgive, but what’s the fun in that? In any case, you have karma in the wings plotting the ultimate lesson. I have to admit that the far off karmic lesson is sometimes what gets me going in the morning.