When I think about my life and the lives of those around me, I say to myself that I am lucky. Lucky to be loved and to be alive, and most importantly, to be here in front of my computer trying to find even the smallest of disastrous occurrences in my life that has influenced me to become who I am today; I have experienced no such tragedy. While I do, to some extent, trust in the power of luck, I believe more in the power of karma.
Centuries ago, in the time of Ancient India, karma was a philosophy that all lived by: an ancient law of cause and effect that influenced reincarnation and the caste system of ancient people.
Even today, hundreds and thousands of years after the decline of the Indus Valley civilizations, the children we see walking down the streets with smiles on their faces are taught the ‘golden rule.’ This rule is the idea that you should treat others the way you want to be treated; thus, in the words of the Dalai Lama himself: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
Throughout the years of my education, the aspect of karma has been a constant factor, even in the most unexpected places. In kindergarten, as is conventional, I was taught the very same golden rule that the children today are taught. My mother often tells my friends when they come to my house about times when I was smaller and I refused to share my toys with others; consequently, no one would share their toys with me.
I eventually did grow out of that stage in my life, and as I entered seventh grade, I encountered karma once more, this time in the form of science. When considering Newton’s third law of motion, ‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ one can see that even the laws of nature have an underlying sense of karma.
The Ancient Greeks lived by two absolute rules, one being that the universe is set up in an orderly way such that the laws of nature apply to the land, the sea, and the sky. The law of karma is one such law that applies to everything around us and according to the Greeks: the people on the land, the fish in the sea, and the birds in the sky all share our planet and the laws that come with it. Karma is everywhere.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.