Monday, December 05, 2005

Karma is broken.

I can get to wondering about the strangest things. Money for example. I really have to believe that whoever thought of money really screwed us all up. I think about trading and bartering. If We still worked on trading and bartering, I would be totally "rich."

You see, I do lots for other people. I do lots of favors for other people, and I do lots of nice things for other people. I do not expect payment. It's Karma. It's all about Karma. I am not a big religious freak. As noted previously, I believe in Karma. I believe in good thoughts and good deeds more than I believe in prayer. I mean, I can either sit on my butt or kneel by my bed and pray that good things will happen, or I can do good things for others, without expecting payment in return, and then I can believe that my unselfishness and caring for others will come back to me through good Karma. I can send positive thoughts out to people who need them, and do what I can to help. And hope that whoever god is or whatever god looks like.... he or she will see that I like to help others and send someone to help me when I need it. That's what I believe. It is essentially the root of "It's not what you know, it's who you know." I believe I should try to be good, not so that I "stay out of hell" but because people will in turn be good to me. And in some ways, people will see that as naieve. Or living life wearing rose colored glasses. BUT Just because I believe in Karma doesn't mean I can't also believe in covering my own ass.

But Money doesn't do much for Karma. Unless you are earl, and you just won the lottery, that is. Money essentially is the thing that got Karma all fucked up to begin with.

So let's explain by example. Let's say that my friend cari needs her computer fixed. I know how to fix computers. So I help cari out because she is my friend. I fix her computer. Now if this were Karma, and only karma, Cari would be grateful for the help and I wouldn't charge her any money. Because let's pretend that we are operating before money. There IS no money. So Cari sort of "owes me one." Now remember, I didn't fix cari's computer because I wanted her to "owe me," but because I wanted to help Cari with the understanding that if she could ever help me, she would do the same. It's all Karma. What goes around comes around.

So let's say that 2 years from now, my child falls and breaks a bone. Cari, being an EMT, would come and help me to care for the child. She wouldn't charge me.... but she would help me because she can. Because that is her knowledge and she enjoys sharing it with me, because I helped her in a time of need. That's Karma.

Now what happened, in my opinion, is one of two things. We will use Cari and myself as examples. Because Cari will not get angry if I use her name. Even though this never happened with Cari, it's just an example.... hypothetical.

Theory #1. I helped Cari. After helping her, I discover that she has no intention of helping me in the future, and doesn't want to feel in debted to me. She decides to devise a way for us to be "even." Cari has three necklaces that she doesn't need. She needs her computer. So she gives me necklaces in exchange for computer repair. That's a good trade, right? That might even be considered good Karma. But suppose that Cari has nothing that I need or want? Cari needs to think of something that EVERYONE wants and EVERYONE needs, so money evolves. Everyone wants it, and everyone needs it. Now, because there is money.... no one needs to practice Karma anymore. They just charge someone an appropriate amount of money for a good or services. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

Theory #2. I helped Cari. After I fix her computer, my child falls and breaks his leg. I go to Cari for help but she doesn't want to help me. Either she is too busy, too selfish, or too lazy. So Cari sits back, and even though I helped her, she refuses to help me. I decide that Next time Cari wants help, I won't just help her. Is that good Karma? No. But, I know that Cari won't help me, so I get ticked and decide that if Cari wants my help, she needs to pay me up front, because she doesn't operate on Karma. So Cari has nothing that I really want, I already have necklaces, so we come up with something that everyone needs and wants, and eventually money is born. A universal way of charging someone when they refuse to help you back out of kindness. A way to get around the fact that some people don't practice Karma. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

Then what happens? All of these people start coming out of the woodwork wanting my help..... Why?

Well, let's say that I don't want to charge people. I just want to believe in Karma. Good Karma. I want to help people and have them help me in return, free of charge. I want to be friends. So I decide that if Cari doesn't want to believe in Karma, I will just move on to helping other people, and I won't help Cari anymore. Well that's all fine and dandy, until Cari walks over to her friend Lori, and says "hey Lori, I know where you can get your computer fixed and not pay any money!" So Lori comes to me, like a friend, pretending to practice Good Karma, and I fix her computer, because I don't know her and I want to be her friend. Then when I need help, Lori is not there. Eventually Lori and Cari tell all their friends, and instead of being the good friend who fixes computers for people because I feel that they will in return send good Karma my way- I become the sucker fixing everyone's computers for free because word has gotten around that I don't charge anyone.

So even those people who believe in Karma and want to avoid the entrapments of money, are eventually entrapped because they can't in good faith, help anyone without being taken advantage of. Others have ruined Karma. I don't know how to fix it.

Does any of that make sense to you the reader? I have always believed in Karma. Essentially that people are good. That friends can be made in all walks of life. It was only after having 50 computers to fix, not enough time in the day, and not enough money to pay for my food and house, that I realized that NONE of these people (almost none) were helping me back. Maybe it's because I wasn't needy enough? Maybe because I don't ask for help? I don't know. But I realized that I was being taken advantage of. People who don't understand Karma, and even people who do, will take advantage of you.

My good friend Dorene pointed it out, that I needed to charge for my time. And when I first started charging, some of my "customers" shied away. Why? Because they just wanted free help. They never had any intentions of helping me back. They were just on the gravy train. But I got lots of new customers. Customers happy to pay me for my time and help. Now, I still feel guilty when it comes time to accept payment. It's just not how I wanted it. I honestly thought that I had been given a gift, that I should help those who didn't understand computers.... because that was the right thing to do.

But the whole Karma system is broken. It's not my fault, and I don't know how to fix it. So I guess I just have to play along- or get screwed. Because all of those people who went away when I started charging, they are the "bad Karma people"- those who are like "Lori" in the story above. Those who "cari" told to come to me because I would fix it for free.

So the world is full of money now. Karma is broken. I don't know what to do. I volunteer for everything. Dog shelter. Computer Group. Bioterrorism Committee. Bureau Valley School Foundation Board. Bureau Valley FFA Alumni. I volunteer on projects, committees, fundraisers. I volunteer until I don't have time to do laundry and my non-paying gigs take more time than my paying gigs. But then sometimes I get frustrated. I am forced to work with selfish people. They have me pegged. "hey, ask Meagan, she'll say yes" and I am stuck doing more than I can handle, usually all by myself. I volunteer my time, my knowledge, physical labor, etc. And I really really hope that there can at least be some good Karma coming my way. I hoped that the more I helped, the better the chance that Karma will come back and I could inspire others to do good things.

If I don't make it into heaven.... if I got this all wrong, and all those money grubbing morons get there.... I will be so pissed. But then I start to think, if heaven is full of money grubbing morons.... maybe it Isn't really heaven? Maybe it's hell in disguise. Because I don't want to spend eternity with them. Plus I know that I have to go to rainbow bridge first.... before Heaven. That is incredibly important. Maybe one of the most important stops of my entire life. Not just for me, and my own companions, but for those who never had a companion.

I try SOOOO Hard to not get caught up in material things. SOOOO hard. It is not easy, and with all the posessions I have, I am not sure that I have been even the least bit successful. I do want nice things. But I don't need Prada or Versace. Wal-mart, Target, IKEA- all fine by me. But sometimes I have friends who talk about their vehicles, their furniture, their paychecks.... and it makes me sad. Sometimes I get caught up in their chatter and I don't even realize how worthless it all is. It has nothing to do with Karma. Nothing. I swear I need a Karma tatoo right where I can see it everyday. To remind me that posessions are not what is important, and that all those people who want to compete with me are worth nothing if they can't give a moment of their time to someone else who needs help.

So while I have your attention. Please tell me what you think about Karma. How do we fix it? Could it ever really work in this society? I totally need to read more about it. All my Karma is self taught and someone out there knows way more than me.

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