K is for Karma

Cosmically, Karma is “the principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person’s deeds in the previous incarnation”. (Dictionary.com).

“K” is for Karma.

It is a word that is tossed around a LOT (Let karma sort it out. I have good karma. Oh, look what happened to them…they must have bad karma). “Karma” has become the term de jour to explain or excuse the result of our choices and the choices of those around us.

I do believe we reap what we sow – that what goes around, comes around. I believe in free will, that we shape our own future, and, if you make the choice, you own the result.

The idea that I am bound to the choices of a previous incarnation and will be awarded or punished accordingly goes against that belief system.

Ultimately, I don’t believe we are bound to the choices of others – even previous incarnations of ourselves. In the grand scheme of things, it is our reaction to those choices that bind us.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl

Imagine life as a giant pond. Our choices are the stones we toss into it. There is a ripple effect. Our choices, AND our reaction to the choices of others have a direct effect on what happens around us. Perhaps that is what karma is about…the ripple effect.

I am pretty sure Doc Palmer didn’t consider the ripple effect when he killed Cecil (Justice).

I am pretty sure the comments about sales people in Cabo San Lucas (Glass Ceilings) were made out of ignorance – not because of the ripples those words caused.

I am pretty sure the attorney who told me what factoring was had no idea that just weeks later I would be offered a job at a factoring company (Cheerleaders) and it would change…everything.

I recently had the ripple effect talk with a client – a great client I really enjoy working with. He faced a problem in his business and made a decision to fix it. The decision fixed the immediate problem.

The decision also caused a damaging ripple through other areas of his business. That damage – those ripples – put his company in a precarious position. We are now scrambling to put solutions in place that will save the company and allow him to move forward.

Too often, we forget to look past immediate solutions to the long range impact of our choices.

About a month ago I was talking to the teenage son of one of my friends. His recent choices are burning bridges at a rapid pace (a phenomenon I know well from the teenage years). He is at an age where he believes he is entitled to respect. We talked for close to two hours and I told him (in fairly colorful language) that believing he is entitled to respect means nothing if his choices do not back it up…you have to be respectful in order to gain respect. If you toss entitlement into your pond, you will not receive respect from the ripples. If he wants to change the ripples in his pond, he has to toss a different stone.

And that is the lesson…

If you want to change the ripples in your pond, you have to toss a different stone.