by Dijita

A jar sits at work on top of our counter, labeled “Millennium Skate Park Fund”. You see, I work at a skateboard/snowboard shop where this jar sits waiting for people to put change into it in an effort to raise money for the second addition at our local skateboard park. This jar, that I now call “The Karma Jar”, wields a power that neither I, nor any other human being that has experienced its fate can comprehend.

Our staff has often times, especially on those hot sunny days, felt they needed something to cool them down. The solution is simple: a combination of syrup and ice mixed in perfect harmony called a Slurpee. However sometimes the solution is not so simple when digging deep into the pockets of a retail employee. Ah, but the jar it simply sits there taunting you with glee, tempting you, you can hear it whisper “oh but I have money.” Mouth dry, sweat beading off the victim’s forehead, fate sets in; the money is “borrowed”. This is where the jar gets its name as The Karma Jar, as anyone who has borrowed money literally was in the hospital before the sun rose again. Broken leg, ankle, knocked out teeth, separated shoulder, stitches, and surgery are all that was experienced by the misfortunate people who thought they could beat the odds of The Karma Jar.

The above is obviously a comical, exaggerated example of karma. Karma actually derives from the Buddhism philosophy, which translates as the law of cause and effect. That we suffer at present because of past harmful or spiteful actions.

So is there such a thing as Karma? On a literal form it’s hard to deny the essence of Karma. Guilt for example is very similar to the Karma philosophy; I’m sure there are times when you have said something mean or uncalled for to another person (the cause) and later felt bad about what you said (the effect). You may feel bad because you genuinely understand that you have unwittingly hurt the other person, or maybe you feel afraid because you realized that the other person has friends that will most definitely seek revenge on you. Nonetheless it doesn’t matter if your uneasiness is stemmed from a selfish or selfless guilt it is still the cause of participating in a harmful action, hence Karma states true in this case.

Rather than feelings, does Karma exist in a state of actions? That is, if you do something good, will something good happen to you in a physical sense, as opposed to merely feeling good about yourself? This requires a bit more belief, because if you do believe this, you somehow believe in an unseen force that keeps tabs on the goods and bads of what you have done, and paying back based on this. We have seen this ideology tossed around throughout time and mythology. Think about it, for those of you who celebrate Christmas you were told at a very young age that if you were good, Santa Claus would bring you many nice gifts. Most of you have heard the story of Adam and Eve from the bible, how God created them, put them in the Garden of Eden and told not to eat the forbidden fruit; when they disobeyed they were banished. Although these are far from real-life examples they still maintain the same idea that what goes around comes around.

I believe in Karma. I often times find myself walking down the street handing some coins over to a homeless person thinking, “I really can use some good Karma”. Does that sound silly? Maybe. But perhaps it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to believe in. Karma underlines the importance of all individuals being responsible for there past and present actions. I’m not saying that I only do nice things for the sake of my well being, but if believing in something could potentially better a person and make them open their eyes as to what effect there actions have on others and why they are taking these actions, then believing in Karma is a good thing. Hmm, I might have just increased my Karma points by writing this and making YOU more aware.

  • Karma
  • by Dijita
  • Published on May 1st, 2003

More from :

Other recent features: