Saving and Karma

By Carlos Portocarrero

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I’m not a superstitious guy — I’m not religious at all and I don’t even buy into things like fate or cliché phrases like “it was meant to be.” But for whatever reason I’m a fervent believer in Karma. Not in a spiritual sense, but more in a “that will come back to haunt you” type of way that usually keeps me on track in terms of doing “the right thing” or “what is right.” Sorry about the quotes here, but it’s one of those ethereal topics that truly warrants them. Just be glad you’re getting those instead of the dreaded “air quotes.”

So I believe that when you do something shitty to another person, it’s going to come back to you. Somehow. Some time. It’s not like I cut someone off and then the rest of the day I’m waiting for something bad to happen and when I slip and fall walking into my apartment, I’m like “Oh, there it is. Back to square one.” No, please. Have a little more faith in your humble narrator. And the same goes for doing something good.

Karma is kind of like saving money — you put a little bit of good karma away every so often (like once a month, let’s say) knowing that this positive store of good deeds (or just being nice) will one day reward you. Not tomorrow or next week, but overall you’re “owed” some goodness. You’re not saving because you want to be rich tomorrow, and you’re not being nice to other people because you can’t wait to get some breaks coming your way — that’s not the way it works. The way it does work is you do it because it’s the right thing to do, knowing in the back of your head that these good deeds (and saving money) are only going to generate positive things for you in the future.

Does that make any sense?

When I shoot money into my ING account, I’m not doing it because I’m expecting a huge payday next week (I never take out the interest I make, it stays in there to generate more interest), I’m doing it because it’s a sensible move and the idea itself behind saving and earning interest is a financially savvy one. Will it pay off in the future? Sure, but not right away. The lifestyle behind the idea is what will make it pay off. With Karma, it’s a similar scenario. You do good things for people (I’m thinking small stuff like holding doors open, helping someone who has dropped something, returning a lost wallet, etc.) because it’s right and because — and this is where it might get a little too flaky for some — it generates good energy for you. That energy will eventually come back to you.

Is this for real? Probably not. It’s probably one of those things that’s just in my head. But you know what? We’re all entitled to believe in what we want to believe, and Karma is something that works for me.

Am I alone on this one?

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