“Karma’s a bitch!”
“Karma will get you.”
“That was totally karma!”
Often times I catch myself talking about karma when something happens to me after I do something wrong or mean.
Karma is a popular philosophy in many religious circles, and is a pervasive sentiment in mainstream Christianity.
Although many Christians may say that they do not believe in karma, they may still unconsciously subscribe to its logic.
But in looking at this concept the question has to be asked: is the idea of karma helpful or hurtful when we relate to others?
Karma is commonly thought to be the idea that people will get what is coming to them; if they do good things, good things will happen and if they do bad things, they will have some misfortune.
In our culture, another name for karma is the Just World Ideology; the belief that bad things happen to people because they deserve it.
An example of this is thinking that a person who is living in poverty is lazy, or did something to deserve the status that they have.
In many cases, this is just not true.
People may be born into an impoverished situation and be unable to get out of it even if they are working very hard for all of their lives.
As much as we hate to admit it, the American dream is not a reality for some people.
There are little or no opportunities to move upwards for many Americans. Blaming people for their misfortunes can be harmful because it does not bring about positive change. Bad things happen to good people and good things can happen to bad people. The popular way of viewing karma can be very dangerous if we start blaming the victim.
While it may be helpful to think about karma for motivating yourself to do good, using it to judge others can be very hurtful.
We humans are a little gleeful when the bad guy get what he deserves, but that can lead us to judge people who are less fortunate than us.
Victim-blaming only leads to hurt, not healing.
-Malachi Bontrager, Contributing Writer
Tags: Malachi Bontrager