Karma?

This story is interesting. One to puzzle over. I have no direct involvement in the situation – I’m just one of the (semi) outside, curious observers.

In my community, someone who was fairly well known was accused of a theft, an ongoing theft actually. The accusations were documented, not off-the-cuff or with no evidence. In fact there was video footage. I did not see the footage – nor was there any reason I would – but a number of people saw it and all who did agreed on what was on it. I know some of those individuals and have no reason to doubt what they reported. If they say they saw a theft on the footage, multiple thefts, I believe them.

Curiously, despite the evidence and the “eye witnesses” many people doubted that a theft occurred, and yet another contingent essentially said, well if it DID happen, it was justified. That fascinated me. The person at the center was a somewhat controversial figure to start with – the opinions held about this individual were mixed. This person wasn’t universally loved prior to the theft accusation. That’s important to mention because the incident seemed to serve to further polarize people in their views; many used the situation to justify opinions they already held. Perhaps some changed their thoughts, but most of those talking publicly – online – stuck to their guns be it for or against.

Although the police were consulted and their advice taken in gathering evidence, the central players decided not to take legal action but essentially to cut ties: Let’s just go our separate ways, we’ll all move on and this will be over.

That might have been the end of it but for a new weird twist. The person accused of the theft won a bunch of money, a substantial amount. Oh my gracious. Now some people were saying this event was karma. The win was taken as EVIDENCE of something. The person accused of the theft had been badly treated, they thought, by being accused and cast out, so in their minds the universe was righting a wrong. (No doubt others were thinking, “Great, now they can pay back the money! The thought certainly crossed my mind.)

I found this all very strange. I mean on the one hand, stealing is an act, a choice someone makes (independent of what their reasons are and/or whether or not anybody else might find them valid or excusable in some fashion). Winning money on the other hand, is random. However, because the two events happened so close together, a group of people were inclined to find them related even when there was no evidence one had anything to do with the other. I wonder how much time between the two events would have to have passed to make them unrelated in most people’s minds? 6 months? A year? 5 years?

And – too often people apply the theory of karma only when it suits them. But it seems to me if you’re going to believe in karma you’d have to apply it more universally (and even to bad things and EVEN to bad things that happen to you).

It isn’t that I don’t ever use the word karma or don’t think it is at work at times. But I can’t buy in wholesale. For example, innocent children get abused and sometimes killed by their guardians or parents; how on earth could karma be found there? (The child brought it on themselves somehow?? Their ancestors screwed up and this is karmic justice? No way.)

Yet another twist to this story has occurred. The person accused of the wrongdoing has gone into business, one which will be direct competition for the original group that decided to cut ties and not pursue legal action. I really don’t know what to think about this.  Very strange indeed.

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12 thoughts on “Karma?

  1. Ally Bean

    I’m smiling here at this story. Totally believable. I grew up in a small town where situations like this one popped up from time-to-time. Theft, maybe– overlooked. Outside forces, karma– revered.

    It was as if those people who knew there was a theft didn’t want the light shined back on them, so they let it go. Then used something outside their control to explain it away. Denial was a positive way to go through life where I came from.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      God and karma are often brought up to explain things, but again only when it suits people. The other thing worth mentioning, and you may have seen this in your former town too, is that people don’t mind excusing things that didn’t happen to them personally.

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  2. Kate Crimmins

    People and their beliefs are often very strange. I also grew up in a small town. The local butcher was known to be a thief. When you bought lunch meat he put his thumb on the scale to make you pay more. He was caught on tape stealing a side of meat out of a delivery truck yet there was no consequence to speak of. He had to pay but then it was back to business as usual. He had two kids and I often wondered if they shared similar traits. My brother, also a butcher who was his partner, was not like that at all. He often threw in something free.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Good story! I tend to think people let things slide when there’s something in it for them (or they hope there will be). I don’t really understand when there are little to no reprisals but Kate if you or I stole that meat, somehow I think we’d be sent to the slammer!

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  3. battlewagon13

    Just another pothole in the long, bumpy road of life. Amazing how many of these kinds stories there are out there. And to everyone involved, it’s like life or death. I tend to ignore as much as possible this kind of event happening and think that it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme. Will I suffer for that ignorance? Perhaps that would be MY karma. :-).

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I get what you’re saying. People get very invested and worked up. And then it’s just kind of over. You’re probably smart to stay out of things. I know when I’m reacting too much that it’s time to back off or stop paying as much attention. I do think you learn stuff about people from their reactions.

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