Mansi asks: Do you believe what goes around comes around?

karma Mansi asks: Do you believe what goes around comes around?I am really not sure what I think about this question.

I certainly don’t believe in destiny, kismet, fate, call it what you will … even though many eventful happenings in my life have been attributed to that amorphous, yet comforting, idea.

But the concept of karma … or what goes around, comes around has always intrigued me.

It disturbs me because it trivializes the notion of doing good for good’s sake — making it more of an undertaking for fear of retribution.

Karma is a bitch, say people, when they see a tyrant die a painful, slow death. Or when a miser’s children are killed in a car crash.

We like to think there is some power in the cosmos keeping tabs on our daily activities, an account of all our wrongdoings that will eventually catch up with us in some form or the other: loss of loved ones, cancer, loneliness, etcetera.

But then why do rapists, murderers, corrupt public officials with whom the law enforcement or justice systems haven’t caught up, not suffer? Why do we see those who squash, plunder, and ravage other people’s dreams and lives thriving in an abundance of health and wealth?

Some say it’s because they face a bigger judgment day. Convenient, eh?

They don’t know that. No one does.

It’s just something we’ve invented to keep societies form getting out of control. You see a bad person not getting his due in this life and you pacify yourself with the “knowledge” that someone up there is watching … That the Supreme Power will make him pay one day.

What about paying for your “sins” here and now? I don’t see that happening with 100 percent accuracy … Or even 50 percent of the time.

Just because someone has been a law abiding, generous, upstanding citizen and a compassionate, loving human being, doesn’t mean that person won’t die of pancreatic cancer.

And conversely just because someone has been corrupt all his life, doesn’t mean he will “get what he deserves.”

That’s just not what happens.

And yet, there’s some romance in the idea … A sense of optimism and hope … That we will reap what we sow.

So, my readers, what’s your verdict?

Mansi asks: do you believe what goes around comes around?

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  10 comments for “Mansi asks: Do you believe what goes around comes around?

  1. October 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Yes….. no one knows God’s mysterious ways. But i believe in good karma. When good people suffer in life it is always painful to watch them, but life would be bereft of meaning if we were not optimistic and did not believe in judgement. For every culprit who goes scot free, there is one who is nabbed by the authorities . that is why we have courts. to streamline bad elements of society

    • MansiNo Gravatar
      October 25, 2010 at 10:08 am

      Thanks, Abha, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  2. AvignonNo Gravatar
    October 25, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I have been thinking recently about Karma and what it means to me and I completely agree that I dislike the “fear” aspect that has been introduced to prompt people to do good.

    Instead I feel karma is essentially a retelling of “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Every force we exert on the world around us equally feeds back into our unconscious, our spirit. We mold this inner self that in turn drives our conscious lives more than we recognize or care to admit. We may not necessarily see everyone get his or her “due” (our human definition of justice) per se, but whether they do or not, karma indelibly leaves a mark that shapes their unconscious. This happens with or without the intervention of a higher power.

    • MansiNo Gravatar
      October 25, 2010 at 10:17 am

      Interesting perspective, Avignon. I agree that the concept itself makes us more conscientious, but is there any proving whether or not the concept truly exists? It’s almost like faith — we choose to believe in things that help facilitate a “better” world in the bigger scheme of things … but to say that everyone everywhere somehow reaps what they sow doesn’t inspire belief in me … given what we’re witnessing in an increasingly globalized and more aware society, it makes me more skeptical, in fact. Thanks for stopping by and keeping the discussion going.

  3. MansiNo Gravatar
    October 25, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Additional comments from Writers Rising where this question was cross-posted:

    Marilyn said…
    Hmmm…perhaps if we viewed the question differently. What we do to one, we do to all. Or if we thought of it this way…what we do to others is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves.
    October 23, 2010 2:21 AM

    nadinewrites108 said…
    I think it’s a big picture wheel. What goes around does come around, just not necessarily in our little earthly understanding of time or in our little earthly understanding of how it should all pan out. I mean, who wouldn’t love to see that nasty bully have her head flushed down the toilet, right? But chances are, it ain’t going to happen in a hurry.

    In fact, I think the coming around of what is dished doesn’t even necessarily happen in this lifetime, which opens the big ‘reincarnation’ can of worms…

    So I guess the question is, “Do you have to witness karma in action or is it enough to just believe that the universe is unfolding as it should and that all things, eventually, find balance?”

    Hmmmm… nice to ponder.

    October 23, 2010 3:52 AM

    nothing profound said…
    Not at all. It’s all chance and happenstance. There is no law of retribution governing our actions. There’s an Hasidic saying: “There’s no way to explain the suffering of the innocent or the prosperity of the wicked.” An unhappy truth, but there it is.
    October 23, 2010 7:40 AM

    Andrew Swansson said…
    Very thought provoking, I believe in Karma ! Not as a universal law but as an ethical belief that I find keeps hope in one’s life, that living the righteous life will be in the end acknowledged and not be in vain.
    October 23, 2010 4:33 PM

  4. MansiNo Gravatar
    October 25, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Additional comment from Indusladies, where this question was crossposted:


    I ask the question everyday. I am a senior citizen, but haven’t got straight answer from anyone. I have seen good people dying with cancer, ALS etc when I asked my friend ( who supposed to be good these kind of philosophy), she said that good people die like that have no more birth. She/he goes to heaven.
    Then what about bad people??? that is Karma.
    No one can give a good answer.
    If you don something good, it doesn’t mean it cancels the bad deeds. For bad deeds, you suffer.
    But as you say, it is very romantic to say Karma for everything.
    I hope someone can explain to me. You have asked great question. Thanks.
    Posted 23rd October 2010 at 01:10 PM by Coffeelover

  5. October 25, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I’m not so sure how I feel about it. When I was in college, I had gone to the supermarket one day & there was a woman in front of me who was short a few cents on her purchase. I gave her what she needed so that she could complete her purchase. She turned to me and thanked me and said, “good karma will come your way.” Fast forward through the day..I wasn’t feeling well so my friend offered to bring me some hot tea. She went and got it and put it on the desk next to my phone and as she was talking she spilled the tea all over my phone. The phone was completely done for so I went to try to replace it, but since I didn’t have insurance I ended up spending $150 that I didn’t have for a new phone. Yeah “good karma” definitely came my way lol.

    On a more serious note though, I believe things just happen and we might not always know or understand why they are happening. Sometimes good people suffer while bad people continue to get away with things. We live in a fallen world. I wouldn’t say God is completely absent, but I think sometimes He allows things to happen for whatever reasons it might be.

    • MansiNo Gravatar
      October 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

      The unexplained phenomenon that we so humbly try to explain…finding connections where there might be none, forging theories to justify that which doesn’t exist. Thanks, Anahid, for sharing your experience — I think all those good things would have happened to you even if you hadn’t helped that lady in the supermarket. But then again, does that mean that those things were destined to happen? I don’t believe in destiny, either, so I guess it just circles back again to the notion of faith and believing what one deems believable given one’s context in this world. Appreciate your sharing your viewpoint.

  6. anon1No Gravatar
    October 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Nope, it doesn’t, you can WISH it did (or not, depending on your personal story..).
    But it makes complete sense that so many people live by this concept… which probably deserves a log of credit for building/sustaining less chaotic communities. Following the “common good” principle will likely help sustain population(s) for longer, but not everyone needs to believe in “Karma” to see that.

    So PLEASE RECYCLE else you’ll come back as a cockroach in your next life !!

    • MansiNo Gravatar
      October 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      He he. Good to have you back :)

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