I believe in the force of karma.  It is not what a lot of people believe it to be.  I was on a bus one day and a man in a wheelchair came on the bus and this young woman and her boyfriend were chatting and joking with him.  I heard the girl saying a minute later that she got some good karma for being nice to the wheelchair guy.  That's where she's wrong.  Now, if she genuinely from the heart was friendly to this man with no expectation of anything in return, then she would have gained some positive merit.  But doing something for brownie points (karma) does not get you anything on the board.  You are doing it for a self-centered reason and that is bad karma.
ReformedAutomaton ReformedAutomaton
41-45, M
39 Responses Jun 12, 2007

Perhaps she was being nice to the guy because that's the way she is? If so, would that not help her karma? It's not for self-centered reasons if that's just part of your personality.

I think that's a good point cardsOFglory. I suppose a good deed still has the same effects whatever the motive behind it is.
However, I think that although the action was good the motive behind it was bad and that still has to be considered.

So perhaps what would be fair would be something like that she doesn't get as many karma points as she would've got if she had been genuine or as someone else pointed out here, she might get others doing similar things to her in the future.

I just need to say something.<br />
I havent gone through all the comments so I dont know if it has been pointed out yet or not but:<br />
I am pretty sure alot of the people here commenting on the fact that the reason she did something good was to get some carma points, so that in itself makes it not a good deed.<br />
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first of all she did in the end do something good HER ACTION. what matters to you being completly honest with yourself and others and having your actions match the way you feel: good or bad<br />
or <br />
actually doing good no matter what reason it is. Do you not respecct rabi's/ priests whatever for doing things because they fear god???<br />
FURTHURMORE allot of you people only do good things because you bolive in karma.....<br />
I will give you an example- someone old is standing on the bus:<br />
you really dont feel like getting up because you make the callculation that if you were to get up <br />
it would only be because this is what society dictates and you wouldnt be doing it because <br />
of sympathy. another guy gets up. he does it because this is what was tought to him as good.<br />
who is better? are they the same?

love it very much!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh that's cool...I do agree though that just thoughts, even those we don't necessarily act on, have an effect oon the world around us.

Yes, I agree, I have just re-phrased that=)

I agree that karma is about thoughts and intent at its root but thoughts and intent turn into action. I do believe that all those things drive the wheel of karma...thoughts, intent, actions.

I too believe, *many* find Karma as a game or state of action "only", its funny how very little people understand that it's not about your "only" your actions. Many say I believe in Karma, but do they know its true meaning? Karma is about your mind and completely driven by your thoughts and what's @ heart. Karma can be set of just by your intents, that that never even get carried throug, this word, has a very strong and deep meaning, it's a word that should never be taken lightly. =)

Yeah you should look into that. Even people who don't believe in karma or reincarnation can benefit from thinking about the possibility of living lives before this one and of how our past actions can affect the present in ways that we can't account for.

that's cuz' we've seen it proven time and time again. karma is everywhere. And I'm very interested in this Samskara. It makes perfect sense to me.

I don't think it's possible to say when or even if people ever get good or bad karma. I personally believe in the force but it is unprovable and untraceable.

OMG she actually SAID that? I know ppl who think that way, but they don't usually get the "good" karma from it.

I believe that as well

wow, I feel for your situation...those kinds of things do make one question whether the forces of the world are against us. People like your sister believe in a "punishing" god who looks down on us and throws lightning bolts when we are "bad". Those same people like Jerry Fallwell (fundamentalist christians) think that god punished New Orleans for being sinful. It is a sick state of mind I think. Those same people believe in a god that wants you to spend your time on your knees begging for forgiveness to a god you'll never know. If there is a god and he has a good heart, I know he wouldn't want us to waste our time asking thin air to forgive us for the things that we do wrong. God would want us taking action out in the world and loving others, living life. I don't believe in the punishing god though I do believe that if there is a god, he/she/it is responsible for everything that happens on this earth.....good, bad, or ugly. I do believe that everthing that happens to us contains a lesson. I do my best to live by the philosophy that "It's not what happens to us, it's how we handle it". Asking "why god, why??" cannot take you very far in solving problems or making life better but I think looking at a situation and not letting it ruin your life, keeping the bigger picture in mind, can be beneficial.

well i guess my frustration with 'bad things happening to good people' is more personal for me right now. my husband and i try to be good people, we help others when we can and always offer to lend a helping hand. my husband works hard....last week the transmission went out on our car...we paid almost 3000.00 to have the darn thing fixed, and then two days later he skids on the ice and wrecks...the car is basically totalled now....and we cant afford to get another one cause we just put so much money into the one he wrecked.....to me its just an unfortunate turn of events, but it does make me ask 'why do bad things happen to good people'....my sister says god is punishing us because we're athiests :/

Antiyou...I think bad things happen to good people b/c you see people as being good or bad....believe it or not, everyone is a little bit of both....everyone does "bad" and "good" things in this life.....to me there is no such thing as a bad or good person, only bad or good actions...Thanks to everyone for your ideas, they are much appreciated (and I expect great returns on my investment in writing this story and the wonderful karma that I have passed around by writing this story and comments-note tongue in cheek)

I've noticed a lot of people with the mindset you describe. For example, they believe that doing things for their spouse should lead to their spouse eventually doing good things for them. I think when actions are done with the expectation of future rewards, the future rewards are not going to come.<br />
<br />
But if you do good things without expectations, ironically, good things happen to you in return.

i agree with your story....you shouldnt be nice to people because you expect some sort of karma in return....<br />
<br />
i dont necessarily believe in karma. i believe in the idea....i think when you are good to others [with no strings attatched], that you automatically get that same gratitude in return, not because of karma, but because people can just see what a nice person you are....as for bad karma, if you are mean to someone, and you feel bad about it, then usually your guilt eats at you and everything just tends to go wrong [especially if you tend to believe in karma]. what puzzles me is why bad things happen to good people......how does karma factor in there [sorry, i was rambling]

I've been big on karma for a long time (like since before i was pagan) I think being nice for insincere reasons, are like neutral actions, no plus or minus sign there. But being generous for no reason is a big plus+++ <br />
<br />
but i think it's at least partially subjective. I mean, a lot of religion is powered by belief. The problem with that is you cant every know what somebody's sincere beliefs are, a lot of people lie to themselves just as much as they do other people.

you are so right Datura, love the name!!...and Shaylon provided us the perfect example of someone who does not understand the nature of karma.

PreformedAutomaton, you are so right when you point out that karma is not what most people believe it to be.That's why it's hard to talk about it with some people, because a common basis of understanding the word and meaning isn't there.

If good karma came back to people I would be a f@%king billionaire with the greatest friends in the world! I simply think karma is crock of sh#t!!!!! The most horrible people I know are the most well off and happiest people in the world!

I don't think it is narcissistic to do something nice for someone no matter the reason. Second hoping that karma or G-d returns the favor is human nature. Narcissism is essentially being in love with one's reflection or one's self. Hoping for recognition of one's good deeds by diety or karma is not in and of itself narcissism. Narcissism would be more thinking that one is too pretty to perform good deeds.

Yeah I think overall that is a good action to treat all members of the community in a friendly way. I just differed with her patting herself on the back for doing something that should go without comment.

very true.

Karma is really just the sum total of all of your actions and the mechanism by which the energy you project eventually returns to you. I think if you are kind to anyone, kindness will eventually return to you in some form. If you use people you will be used and if you talk to people in a non-genuine fashion in hopes that you will get brownie points, then other people will eventually use you as a tool for their own purposes.

None of us are completely, or even hardly altruistic; albeit, I cannot understand what enters some minds when they believe talking to a person different from them, or perhaps disabled somehow ups their "brownie points" as you so correctly put it. <br />
<br />
It's gross. And a true representation of our society. <br />
<br />
Furthermore, how should chatting up a person in a wheelchair bring you any more supposed karma than chatting up a person riding a segway?

really? Abby didn't say much here, what did you disagree with?

I really hope karma exists! I disagree with some of what abby said as usual.

When you do bad things it really bites you in the butt !


It's definitely the most commonly held eastern belief held by westerners. It's something that seems pretty obvious to have truth to it.

yeah, i believe in karma too. they even have sayings like "what goes around comes around". Justin Timberlake even has a song about it: what goes around, goes around, goes around, comes all the way back around............

Yeah for sure...there are some good self-help books out there, but most of them are crap...the good ones are usually about meditation anyway though LOL

Hey, I've just been reading about some of this stuff in a book about Patanjali, the guy who came up with yoga a couple thousand years ago.<br />
<br />
The thing that intrigued me about Samskara - the karma from previous lives - is that the people who embrace that idea don't spend any time looking at why their mom neglected them or their dad humiliated them or their brothers tormented them - you know, the usual Western pop psychological approach of looking at early childhood to understand your problems.<br />
<br />
Instead, these guys assume they were born to such a screwed up family for a reason - to work out whatever it is they're supposed to work out. And they get straight to work trying to improve their karma and bypass all the self-help books and episodes of Oprah. (As it were.)<br />
<br />
I dunno - it made me think about things a little differently.

It all depends on what you believe. Only you know what you've done and it's mostly your subconscious that keeps track of that anyway. We mostly are shielded from our own wrongs by our ego. A convenient memory if you will that helps us move on from things, forget them if you will. <br />
<br />
Some people believe in Samskara which means scars in Sanskrit. It is supposed to be karma from previous lives still acting on you. You still carry it around life after life, like scars.

Ah ha! You are indeed correct. Many people talk about Karma without a full understanding of what it is. It is all about cause and affect and the affect isn't just created by actions; our words and THOUGHTS also create Karma. Actions are what everyone sees, but your thoughts are private so we feel we can thinkwhat we like as long as we 'do' the right thing. <br />
Even if she didn't mean what she said and was just trying to prove she was a 'badass' or whatever, she still created negative karma because she said what she said. I agree with you and EPErica: no good Karma for her!

and i thought i was narcissistic! that girl blows me outta the water...

It's amazing the set of prejudices that must exist when merely being nice to someone in a difficult situation is considered going above and beyond basic decency. I agree with you, no good karma for her.