Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Karma's A Pitch

In my last article celebrating the spirit of CNY, I touched on karma and feng shui.

Whilst I'm quite open to the first idea, I'm not sold on the second.

That's because I find the idea that my life is controlled by external forces like the movement of the stars and moons or the placement of miniature animal artifacts on my cabinet rather... unappealing.

Since karma is also closely akin to mystical forces, why am I more accepting of karma rather than feng shui?

That's because the fundamental logic behind karma (at least to my limited understanding) is causality.

I'm so lucky, I'm a star

* * *

If you be good to people, people will be good to you.

They may not necessarily be the same people.

Nor will the reciprocity come immediately, tomorrow or even within the same year.

Nor will you receive goodness in the same amount as you provided - you may receive even more!

For karma isn't an exact science. The chain of causation is seldom linear. Karma is still subject to margin of uncertainty.

Some people do good things because they believe doing so will be rewarded. But karma isn't like religion. Karma happens whether you believe in it or not. Karma doesn't need your faith to happen.

* * *

Here's a brief story how karma works in mysterious and unexpected ways.

Years ago, in my early years of practice, I was assisting on a defamation case. As is the nature of defamation, parties were rather hostile with each other. And naturally, the hostility passes on to their lawyers.

We struck the first blow - liability established. But the opposing lawyer kept giving us a hard time at appeal. Fortunately, parties reached a settlement. And towards the end, the opposing lawyer and I got along fairly well. As she was a senior practitioner from a different city miles away, we were merely acquaintances.

Few months later, the lawyer forwarded a job advertisement to me on email. The lawyer was doing a favour for a friend working at the company in passing the word around. Not thinking too much, I applied for the job, more to test myself and out of curiosity. I was quite happy where I was, and wasn't looking for a move.

About four grueling interview sessions later, I got the job at Shell Malaysia.

Good times at Shell

* * *

Moral of story? Be nice to people. And nice things will happen to you in a roundabout manner.

If I had been extra mean to the lawyer, she would not have thought well of me and forwarded over the job advertisement, and I would never had applied for and got into Shell.

Funny how karma works, eh?

Ultimately, karma is not something to be loved or feared. Karma doesn't require prayers and gifts. Karma doesn't give a damn what you feel about it.

But karma is real.

Every action has a reaction. Things happen for a reason (even though we may never understand why). What you do today will affect what happens tomorrow.

Yes, karma can be a bitch. But only if you act as one yourself.

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