On Karma: A Rant

I’m not one to usually write about controversial subjects such as religion, politics, and/or my personal opinions, but sometimes I read some articles or see certain things that just make my water boil.  Lately, those things and the feelings they stir up within me are compounded by my lovely pregnancy hormones and have me not only boiling my water, but seeing red.

Let’s start with what happened to Megaupload (click here for the article).  While I understand the reason behind uploading files to be kept elsewhere for safekeeping, what Megaupload is being charged with is pretty criminal.  Do I think it’s up there with killing people or dealing drugs?  Goodness, no!  The allegations are serious insofar as they do break a law.  Okay, so what about the other file sharing sites?  Now everyone is up in arms about not being able to watch Season 5 of True Blood.  While I feel for the peeps that can’t watch True Blood when it comes out in June because they don’t live in the U.S., those of us who do live here have no excuse.  You want to watch True Blood, buy the HBO service so you can do that.  Do I think it stinks to pay $12 (on average) per month on top of your cable bill?  Yeah… a little bit.  Do I think you should get the ILLEGAL file sharing link?  No.  Why?  Because any decent person should pay for a service they want, end of story.  If you cannot afford to subscribe to HBO, then don’t.  It is not needed for your health, safety, or quality of life.  It is a “want,” not a “need.”  Ultimately the money you pay your cable company for premium channels goes to pay for the premium content of movies and to make the awesome series.  If you want free TV, that’s fine, but don’t expect it to be as good as HBO/Showtime/Starz.

What does that have to do with karma?  I believe in what goes around comes around.  If Jane Doe steals, she ends up getting cheated and stolen from in her own life.  Does it always work that way?  Probably not.  Have I seen it at work?  Yes, I have.  Jane cheated on her taxes and got audited by the IRS, three-years’ worth of auditing, to be precise.  She ended up having to pay oodles of money she didn’t have, her whole entire retirement down the drain so she could pay what she owed.  It wasn’t so much what she had owed in the beginning that killed her: it was the fees and penalties that they tacked on afterwards.  Was it worth it?  No.

Bottom line: stealing is bad for your karma.

Let’s move on to the man in Florida who wants to create a registry of atheists (click here for article), saying that atheists are right up there with sex offenders, KKK clan members, radical Islamists, and so on.  Wait, what?  Who’s the hate-filled person now?  The man in Florida wants the registry so Christians can boycott and proselytize to atheists.  Huh?  I’m not an atheist, but as far as I know atheists don’t go boycotting or proselytizing Christians.  Moreover, as a Catholic (therefore a Christian) myself, I remember very well the teachings of Jesus, and He was very much against exclusion.  That was His main lesson, actually.  He was very mad at the way the sick were treated by his fellow Jews (Jesus was Jewish, we all knew that, right?).  The sick were seen as unclean and not worthy of love and help.  Jesus’ main beef with his “church” was this sin of exclusion, so He went and helped others who He saw were in need of care, love, and most importantly humanity, charity.  Where are His teachings and why are all these Christians conveniently forgetting them?  Even atheists agree that you should treat others as you would want them to treat you.  That is karma at its best, and it really does come back to you.  I think the man in Florida needs a hug from an atheist.

But it’s simpler than that.  I have a friend who had a baby.  In Florida that entitled her to a “Mommy Permit.”  That is not its official name; it’s a type of permit that allows parents with infants to park closer to a store, sort of a disabled parking permit.  She told me she used to use it even when her children weren’t in the car with her.  Um… why?  What about the parent that really does need it and you’re occupying the last available space?  Is that really fair?  What if you were with your infant and some idiot without her baby had taken the last available spot?  Wholly abhorrent, right?  I don’t know if Florida still issues those permits, or if they were specific to one county, nor do I care.  But I’ve seen it happen here in Maryland with disabled parking spots.  My other friend, who truly IS disabled and needs that spot to put together her wheelchair, finds herself circling the parking lot more times than necessary, simply because some moron without a permit needed to run inside the store “for just a minute.”

I know what many of you may be thinking: Reb is having a pregnant attack.  Yeah, I am, I admit it.  Some things really get to me and lately I just can’t seem to let them go.  I get mad when my friend in the wheelchair tells me she was at the grocery store, staring longingly at [insert item here] that she could not reach, and nobody bothered to offer to get it for her.  It’s something us Americans are guilty of unlike many Europeans.  We walk around with blinders.  That’s the friend who also told me all about her visit to Prague.  Strangers stared at her, and OF COURSE they did.  She’s absolutely beautiful, with strawberry blond hair and huge blue eyes, with a smile that will make you want to share a joke and a personality to match, and she’s stuck in a wheelchair.  Yet she found more help from the Czech strangers than she ever does here at home at the supermarket she always goes to.  The Czechs would point blank ask her if she needed help and did not overlook her.  Isn’t that what we all want?  None of us want to be overlooked, whether we are able bodied or disabled.  Doing a kindness to someone should be standard, whether is to let a car get in front of you in a long line, or helping a stranger reach something from a too-high shelf.  It comes back, I promise.  AND, as a bonus, if you’re having a bad day, doing something kind for someone else will make you feel instantly better, no matter what and no matter your religion or lack thereof.  We are all part of the human race.  Charity starts at home.  Be kind to others, and try to keep your noses clean.

That’s it.  End of rant.  Now be nice when you add to the conversation.

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10 thoughts on “On Karma: A Rant

  1. Wow. Your brain must have been running on overtime.
    I wish we could get TB when it is released. I don’t know why we can’t. But I like to see it when it comes out, however I always by the DVD as soon as it is released.
    I never understand people using specified parking when they don’t require it.
    I do wonder about why able humans bypass the disabled. I have on a few occasions been given the hairy eyeball when offering assistance to the wheelchair bound. Maybe too many have done that and so others are ignored and treated like the rest of the human race. You will probably find that the Czechs treat everyone not just the disabled with more humanity. I think if we all placed ourselves in others shoes once in a while the whole planet would be a better place.
    Thanks for the subject. I very much believe in Karma.

  2. I think everybody just needs to remember the “golden rule”: “Treat others the way you would like to be treated”. We teach it to our kids, so why is it so difficult for us to remember it (and follow it) as adults? Rant on sister!

  3. I agree with you as well. You have a right to rant on these sorts of things. Where is common courtesy anymore??? I get so frustrated when people are so absorbed in their little worlds that they refuse to see there are problems bigger than there own little circle. I was raised Catholic and have more agnostic to Pagan beliefs now because they are so much more worldly.

  4. I’m afraid I disagree on two points.
    The first, the assumption that all of us have cable. I do not. I will not. I resent having to buy the whole HBO package to watch one program. I read…many things. I am not interested in TV.
    TB is available on Hulu the week after HBO airs it. I would also be happy for a pay per view. I usually buy the season’s video when it comes out, or get it from the library.
    The second: ‘atheists don’t go boycotting or proselytizing Christians’ (actually I am technically an agnostic); I certainly do. If there is a religious affirmation associated with a business, I make sure not to patronize them. I will not reward, however minutely, a merchant admixing religion with business. Not a penny’s worth. Voting with your money is one of the rights and privileges of living in a capitalist society.
    I’ve done the pregnancy hormones (don’t you love how soft your skin gets) and now I’m doing the grumpy old lady thing. Ahhhh, the stages of life!

  5. Thanks for saying this. It’s how I feel a good portion of the time. Also, as a pagan, I hear a lot of shit from so-called “Christian” who seem to have forgotten all the lessons. It’s good to see someone who calls us out on our bullshit.
    On another note, what part of MD you in? I’m in Baltimore.
    Cheers, Balti K

    • I live in Laurel *waves* and I used to live in Perry Hall before I got married.

      I hear you. Nowadays I’m more of an agnostic than a Catholic, but I went to Catholic school and through the years I’ve been able to form my own personal opinion of what’s good to take and incorporate into my own life. Hate of any kind is so draining, so why even entertain it? When we go onto our next life (in whatever form, or not go anywhere) nobody is going to ask “who did you hate”? If anything they’ll ask us “who did you love and who did you make happy”? Even if we don’t go anywhere at all after we die, we leave behind our family and friends. How will they remember us? Frowning at everything we hated or smiling at everything we loved?

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