Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thoughts of Karma
I have always been fascinated by the idea of karma, especially when called down on the heads of one's enemies. Case in point:
One malicious miscreant I know, Brent, has called the wrath of karma down on many people's heads, people who have crossed and thwarted his plans and fallen out of grace with him. Time after time he has sworn that he was in the right and karma would get those who flamenco-ed on his toes and he waited for news like a hungry shark waiting for minnow school to let out.
He was moderately successful in his field and chalked up a few points because he was diligent in promoting himself and his agenda. He married a really nice girl who had no idea of his checkered past, except what he told her, and she felt sorry for his trials and tribulations. And then she got a taste of his obsession with an ex-best friend, Max, who he believed had sold him down the river.
Max was unaware of the ongoing drama created or that Brent (also know to friends and foes alike as Bent) stalked him online and in real life. Max just went about his life as if nothing had changed, and for Max nothing had. He had his work, small close circle of friends and family and his hobbies. he and Brent traveled in the same circles but didn't meet: Brent because he got more mileage out of playing the wronged party and Max because he paid attention to his life and didn't get involved in dramatic scenes; he had enough on his plate without borrowing trouble.
Although Max had some difficulties, the way we all have problems from time to time, Brent's initial success began to fade, sputter and look like it was going to die. When his kids complained that he spent too much time cursing Max and that they remembered him as a great guy who treated them like equals and listened to them without talking down to them, Brent blew up. His kids couldn't wait to get out of the house and go away to college, which all three of his kids did without delay. When Brent's wife Penelope told him he was obsessed and that she didn't see anything wrong with Max, Brent accused Penny of having an affair with him.
Each of Max's successes fueled Brent's obsession and his anger and things began to deteriorate. His marriage was in trouble. His work was suffering. He was coasting on his laurels and taking on too much new work that either didn't pay well or faded out of existence because he stretched himself too thin. Brent blamed Max for everything and Max was oblivious.
When things began to near rock bottom, Brent took a look at the past five years and made a startling discovery. Karma wasn't eating Max's lunch, but was having a field day with his blessed and happy life. Could it be that karma was crashing his party because of what he had done to Max?
It is a hard pill to swallow when a person realizes that maybe he was wrong and that all the stories he told were prejudiced in his favor, that he didn't want to admit that the truth was considerably different and that he had been at fault. Karma is touchy and plays no favorites. Even though we all tend to slant things to make ourselves look good or like the victim, the truth is often more than a hair off true. Calling karmic retribution down on our enemies opens us up to being struck by karma's sizzling lightning bolts and having the world crumble beneath our feet. Sometimes it takes a while because karma is usually busy taking someone else down, but karma usually gets around to the real culprit, turning their happy world into a quagmire quickly sinking beneath us and sucking us down.
Want to know the truth of a situation? Watch people's lives. Discount the usual irritations and scattered problems and look for cracks in the idol's feet that no amount of patching repairs. Sometimes the disintegration is slow, but often it is shockingly rapid once it starts.
Brent should have taken a few steps back, cooled off and looked at his friendship with Max with the cold, clear gaze of truth, setting aside his hurt feelings and his tendency to exaggerate the facts. Considering how many people Brent has raped, pillaged and bad mouthed over the years and how many people he has hurt, his realization that karma hitting him wasn't a fluke or a mistake and that he had earned his punishment came too late.
Brent has some good qualities, but they are over shadowed by his insecurities and his need to control everything and everyone around him. He can be marvelously kind and often charming, but they are icing on a manure cake.
Max is slowly gaining respect and success in his field and he has earned it the hard way. He is still an opinionated cuss and has his moments of doubt and laziness, but he is a good and honorable man and that is far more important than being liked by the whole world, as Obamessiah is now finding out to his detriment. Max doesn't talk much, but he walks the talk every step of the way. His opinions and views are often unpopular, but he doesn't care. He has integrity and that counts for a lot.
Karma has a long memory and chases liars, cheats, thieves and politicians down when it gives chase, and karma won't bargain. Pay in this life or for the next 20 lives, but karma will have what is owed -- with interest if it is a long chase. Count on it.
So, if you're wondering whether all the trouble cropping up in your life is the luck of the draw or karmic balance swinging around and you have what you need to take care of your problems without making worse problems, then it's just the statistical probability that shit happens. If not, then check your rear view mirror. Karma is often closer than it appears.
That is all. Disperse.