Column: Karma

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Column: Karma

Ella Schuellerman, Arts & Life Editor

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While I believe in “everything happens for a reason,” I am absolutely in love with the idea of karma. While karma is a concept that comes from Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, no matter what religion or atheist standpoint you have, what goes around comes around.

Now, do not dampen my karma parade and tell me that some people are just lucky and never get what is coming to them. That ruins all the fun. Good deeds are rewarded by good results. Bad deeds are punished by bad consequences. To me, the idea of karma is very different from my opening quote about destiny and fate.

Karma is about free will and choice. If you choose to do something good, something good will be paid forward to you; for those who do bad things, you know what is going to happen. The choices you decide to make will bring either benefit or suffering. To get away from all of the bad juju I am scaring you with, I want to tell you why I fell in love with it.

The idea of karma gives me a really good outlook on life. It makes me want to do good, to see good. So, while I may not see an actual good action happening to me after doing something, I still believe in that heartwarming feeling. Doing something for others brings joy to my life, so even if I may not get a similar reaction following my do-good action, I feel on top of the world. I would not trade that feeling for anything.

The Satapatha Brahmana, a sacred text from 700 B.C.E. (yes, that is how long we have been dealing with karma) explains the initial meaning of karma stating, “The soul creates a system of actions and reactions, throughout these lives, forming a cycle of rebirth. And the totality of our actions and their reactions in this and previous lives determine our future.”

Now, if you are freaking out right now, concerned about the amount of negative karma in your life, do not fret. Karma, being a fundamental mechanism to our lives, is constantly changing, so you still have time! Be positive, compassionate, respect and honor others, be honest and, most importantly, be forgiving.

Forgiveness is something I struggle with a lot, specifically the part after I forgive. How do I come back to feeling like myself after a huge obstacle in a relationship? How do you live on after forgiving? This rotates back to the concept of remaining compassionate and positive. You are never going to feel quite like yourself until you rein back in your usual positivity.

Ways I gain my good karma back include not letting anyone else determine what I find positive; I need to do that myself. You also should not involve yourself where your nose is not wanted. Do not get into others’ busines;, do what I do and mind your own!

The best advice I can give on the concept of karma, whether you believe in it or not, is to practice kindness, compassion, love of self and focus on the responsibility you have for your own words and actions. Your voice and actions alter your experiences, and only you determine what happens because of them.