Why I Stopped Believing in Karma
It makes no sense and I don’t feel better.
There is a natural progression of events in life: Someone does something horribly wrong. We feel angry. We want them to pay for it. We want consequences. We want justice.
The reality, though, is that justice is not a menu item in a restaurant where you can sit down, order it and have it brought to you on a platter.
Even when justice is served, it frequently comes out cold, lumpy, and slightly congealed. Essentially, it’s not really gratifying. It doesn't provide emotional sustenance.
For the most part, I’m a pretty good person. If I do something wrong and there are consequences to my actions, I accept that. I think “hall passes” should be few and far between.
There is nothing that burrows into the core of my being more than seeing somebody act in a manner that is inherently bad and then seeing them skate right by. And let’s be honest. This happens all the damn time. There are people for whom laws of common decency just don’t see to apply.
I feel no shame in openly admitting that I wish ill on these people.
I want them to feel pain. I want suffering that occupies their souls. It sounds horrible, but it’s an honest, open admission and I’m not sorry.
Without justice, our scales become unbalanced. It’s hard to understand why life should tip in someone else’s favor without there being ramifications.
I’m not talking about minor transgressions. This is not about the jerk who stole your parking spot. I’m talking about people who affect others lives in horrible ways.
I worked with a guy who behaved horribly to women in the office. He sent obscene pictures to managers. He had affairs with several women we worked with. He shirked off responsibility at every turn. He ruined lives. Our higher ups knew about all of this. Nothing happened. He even got a raise that year. He still works there. I, of course, do not.
I am not kidding in the least when I say that if I saw him homeless with a sign, under a bridge, I would chuckle. I may be a tremendous asshole for saying it. I’m okay with that.
A friend of mine pointed out that frequently justice is served to others in the form of karma. You’ve heard that song and dance before. Somehow, in someway, somebody is going to get what’s coming to them.
That doesn’t make me feel better.
Karma means nothing to me. It’s supposed to be a consolation for us when someone gets away with something they shouldn’t. But, karma is not justice. There is a huge difference.
The problem I have with karma is that it doesn’t connect the consequence someone’s experiencing with the event that caused it.
No magic word bubble pops up when your car is dinged in a parking lot that tells you, “Hey, idiot. Remember when you were too lazy to return your damn cart to the bin? Yeah. I do too.”
Without connection to the event, frequently there’s no lesson learned. You know this if you’ve ever had a puppy. Batting it on its nose right now for peeing on the floor three hours ago is a useless endeavor. It has no idea what it did wrong or why its being punished.
Why should any other part of life be different?
So I’ve stopped believing in karma. Justice doesn’t seem to do it for me these days, either. It keeps turning up absent on the day of the vote.
It can’t be my concern anymore. Wishing ill on people sucks a lot out of you. I’ve wasted so much time on being angry. I have nothing to show for that. I don’t feel any better.
The universe can have it’s way with people as it deems necessary. I’m ducking out of that conversation.