Tuesday, May 12, 2015

KARMA ISN'T A BITCH



FOR THOES PEOPLE WHO SAY... "Karma is a Bitch"

Ever have a conversation with someone and the two of you are discussing a bad situation? The situation could have happened to your friend or maybe to someone else. Suddenly, out of nowhere, your friend resorts to the hackneyed cliche “Karma is a bitch”. Every time I hear that platitude I usually let it pass without a response, but inside, I’m seething with infuriation because it occurs to me that they lack a basic understanding of reality.  Yeah, yeah, I know it’s simply an expression and no one really cares about what it (actually) means.

But sometimes I’d like to say:
Do you honestly think the universe arranges itself around your behavior (and actions) and the behavior of others? Are you so deluded and grandiose in your thoughts about yourself that you think the physical laws of the universe react to your emotions and behaviors?

Do you think the space-time curvature of the universe repositions itself in such a way to retaliate against the individual who steals pastries from the local bakery?

If Karma exists—if people are in their current state of (natural) existence due to behaviors and actions from their past or from their previous lives-- we should rightly fault the children who are suffering from starvation. After all, wouldn't their current fate be determined by a past life, one in which their behaviors were evil or malicious?

People might use the word “Karma” in a practical sense. For instance, the phrase “You reap what you sow” comes to mind.

Yes, if you treat another person kindly, the chances are greater that they will treat you kindly in return. If you judge someone immediately and you haven’t even had a single conversation with them—you don’t even know them---expect them to judge you in the same rash response and don’t count on being their friend (you’ve already proven your judgmental attitude). There isn’t anything magical or mystical going on here. These are just the practical consequences of behavior.

As much as we would like to think the universe revolves around our ego and personalities-- as past scientists have thought that the sun and every other celestial body revolved around the earth—it doesn’t, and I am glad for this.

Karma isn’t a bitch because it doesn’t exist. It is just an eastern idea that has now become an annoying nonsensical phrase uttered by almost every thoughtless drone I encounter.

Perhaps it is time to deflate our egos and realize we have very little control of the world around us—that our behaviors good or bad—may not affect the trajectory of the universe or even our own petty lives. Perhaps we should remind ourselves that we just so happened to be lucky to be born in a developed nation and not have suffered from a water borne illness as a child. Perhaps, if you are one of those people who is often reminded that “you’re super smart” or “super talented/competent” you should just realize that you’re lucky and your life would be an entirely different experience if you didn’t have these preferential traits.

Instead of  saying"Karma is a bitch", how about “Being human is a bitch”. We make poor decisions regularly and we often act in ways that are self-serving—whether they are statements to hurt or diminish the importance of someone else (to feel better about ourselves) or whether they are physical acts of harm towards others.  Being human means you are, at times, going to piss others off. Sometimes your behaviors will be an intentional acts to harm others, other times, your acts will be purposeless and will hurt others.

But either way, the universe doesn’t care about your actions. There isn’t a physical force that is going to balance things out or push for (social) justice in the real world. It is us, and our tiny brains, who have to works towards that. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

VIDEO for MOM-- Remembering Old Times...



video


I grew up in a lower-middle class, Caucasian household. My mother was a full-time housewife and my father made a meager living as a salesman. Neither of my parents have college degrees.  Food stamps were never applicable to my family’s income but we lived happily and never with too much luxury. In the summer time, eastern Oregon can be very hot; we never had an air conditioner. I grew up with fans.  In the winter we used firewood chopped from the forest to heat our house. I always woke up freezing cold in the mornings and headed straight towards the wood stove on the other side of the house.

We didn’t have a lot of extra cash to pile our cupboards with expensive, highly processed goodies and snacks. The high price tag of Doritos, packaged cookies, soda and hostess cupcakes meant that such items rarely, if ever, made it into our cupboards. Instead, we had a flourishing vegetable garden with several fruit trees. We had grass-fed cows in our pasture which would be butchered once a year. We had a chicken-house full of hens that would lay eggs year round. Our animals were treated kindly and humanely.  Our property was sufficient in size to host a sizable variety of barn-yard creatures.