February 12

Reflections: Karma Is A Teacher Not A Bitch

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“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” Wayne W. Dyer

Karma -The Lotus Flower Thrives in clean and Dirty water
Karma -The Lotus Flower Thrives in clean and dirty water

Now as a man is like this or like that,
according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be;
a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad;
he becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds;

And here they say that a person consists of desires,
and as is his desire, so is his will;
and as is his will, so is his deed;
and whatever deed he does, that he will reap.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 7th Century BC

The Law of Karma is often interpreted in myriad ways; it’s defined as retributive justice, cause and effect, Payback, golden rule, wisdom teacher, avenger, a bitch/taskmaster and a slew of other terms. Whenever the subject arises, people start debating about whether it exists or not. Is Karma real? Is it just a way to placate the weak? Is it a law about morality? If you take a moment to read the quote above from the Upanishads, the message is quite clear; our actions produce outcomes = results. And there is a ripple effect that occurs too. What we do to others finds its way back to us; some how, some day.

If I spent my day dashing out and dancing on the busy intersection near my home, sooner or later, one of two things will happen: I’ll get arrested by the cops or I’ll get run over by a car. If we constantly abuse others in a prejudicial or resentful way, the poison is ours to drink. As my dear friend, Ben Okri, would say, “The law is simple. Every experience is repeated or suffered till you experience it properly and fully the first time.”  Essentially, we repeat our actions (Wheel of Karma) and suffer the consequences till it is ingrained in our psyche to stop the behavior. Karma teaches us to be accountable and to learn from our actions. Karma isn’t just about punishing us or the wicked for bitchiness or evil actions… If so, heck, we’d all be dead.

“You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

In the excerpt below, taken from a commencement speech given at Stanford University, Steve Jobs shared one of three stories that showed the unfolding of events in his life. He pointed out  that taking a calligraphy class at Reed College contributed to the results he got when he worked on the Mac; his karmic outcomes were the result of actions he took. It is worth a read. He nails it and you can read the rest Here: You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

So whether we believe in Karma or not, it comes down to one clear message: We reap what we sow. Sooner or later. Power is finite. Results are infinite. More below.

“it is impossible to build one’s own happiness on the unhappiness of others. This perspective is at the heart of Buddhist teachings.” Daisaku Ikeda

The Wheel Of Karma - Repeats till all is learned
The Wheel Of Karma – Repeats till all is learned

Let’s take another example: We’ve all known people who thrive on sharing other people’s sad stories and chuckling about it.  Come back later for a story on Karma and our actions.

This post was Inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Karma Chameleon – Let’s pretend that science has proven that karma is a thing. Your words and actions will influence what happens to you in the future. How (if at all) will you change your ways?  Photographers, artists, poets: show us CIRCLE.
Thank you EVERYONE!

For more, check out how others interpreted the theme – a prompt from WP Daily Post

Positive Motivation Tip: Be mindful how you treat others… what goes around, comes around.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Lotus flowerPrayer wheel,  via Wikipedia or from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet


inspiration, karma, Law of Karma, postaday, Steve Jobs, Teachings, wheel of karma, wisdom story

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  • I believe that what you put out, comes back to you. So, if you’re a jerk, you’ll be forced to deal with jerks.

  • Respectfully, I would like to say that I don’t believe in karma in the least. I am a Christian. God bless! 🙂

  • I’d like to think that the way I live my life means I don’t even have to think about karma. I like to put good into the world!

  • I would love to believe in Karma, I think in some ways it is just life though coming around, such as when lies catch up with you.

  • I definitely believe in Karma and agree it teaches but also think it can be a B because that is what you made it. I just know that I try to be kind and do good simply because it is the right thing to do.

  • I think you get what you give in life. I always try to do my best so I don’t get bite too hard 🙂

  • I laughed at the title. I have to say I live by the golden rule, treat others how you want to be treated. I don’t know if I believe in Karma. Great post and I enjoyed the read.

  • There are two things in life you can control.How you act and how you react to situations. Make good decisions with your actions and reactions and everything else will fall in to place.

  • What goes around definitely comes around whether it is good or bad. I have always believed this and live accordingly-eventually things even out!

  • I think karma does make us accountable, and hurrah for it! It’s nice to know when you’re helping others that that is going to be moving around (and hopefully become very contagious). 🙂

  • I’d like to say I’m learning from *other* people’s bad karma. It sure would make life a lot easier if I did. 🙂

  • I truly believe that what you give is what you get. I try to live by this but am not always successful.

  • That is such a better way to look at it. Karma does teach us to be more giving and kind I think. I believe in it, and I try to put out as much good as possible. Not just because I want good karma, but also because it’s the right thing to do. If everyone put out more positive than negative, it would be such a wonderful world.

  • lol so true. I heard this awesome quote once, “karma is only a bitch if you are” haha love it!

  • I’m a firm believer in karma. What you give out is what you will get back.

  • I like the idea of karma, but believe too many bad people get away with too much bad stuff. Sometimes I believe it will work out on its own, other times I believe in taking care of business myself.

  • I most definitely be in karma. Because of it, I believe that we should always think twice before we do someting we probably shouldn’t, because it can usually come back to bite us.

  • Thanks for a great post.. I love the quote in the beginning…. I totally believe in karma…

  • As an Indian and Hindu, I definitely believe in Karma. Many people however equate Karma with things that are bad, with phrases like “Karma will get you”. It is not like that. It is a concept which encourages good behavior with great rewards and bad behavior with bad consequences.

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