Good deeds. This is the time of year when we’re all expected to have done something good. For all too many people, it’s a once-a-year thing. Are you one of them?
Pat yourself on the back if you are, because you are among a too-large majority it seems. Without photo ops and court assigned public service, many organizations wouldn’t have the volunteers they have. But what does it really do for you or the world to save it all for an annual good deed or a photo op?
Then there’s the gossip, rumors and downright libel/slander on the flip side of the do-good issue. Nasty remarks and gossip often are fueled by envy and jealousy, and can do a surprising amount of damage without the victim even being aware of it happening until it’s too late. Then, there is the anger and desire for revenge on whoever perpetrated this terrible deed. With social media, rumors, gossip, and other remarks can spread faster than wildfire. No one is immune, from rich to poor, famous to unknown, but everyone can feel the sting. Resisting the urge for revenge or retaliation is sometimes very hard, anyhow. Falling into that routine can often be a trap that is stickier to extricate yourself from than a tar pit. When sent with malice, words can be as damaging as bullets. Sometimes, even casually uttered words can carry that kind of damage in their wake too.
All this positive versus negative action and inaction needs some imagery to make it a little bit more real, a little bit easier to comprehend and put into action. Since I love imagery, that’s my obvious solution.
To me, it’s all about the Great Karma Bank and my karmic bank balance. Positive actions create light or white deposits into my account, whereas negative actions create a dark or black debit from that account. It’s very simple for me, the more white I can accumulate, the better. Since it’s all happening in MY head, there is no real way to “cheat” either. The one person that REALLY knows what’s really happened is yourself, so there’s no fooling the self, really. We may lie and cheat our way through life, but we can’t fool the Great Karmic Bank. At the same time, the Great Karmic Bank can’t cheat us and take away our deposits without warning. And yes, you can be “overdrawn” and have a negative balance, if you don’t do what you know you should be doing.
Think about the last month and all of your actions and inactions, good and bad. Where is YOUR karmic bank balance?
There are also no excuses allowed. That includes problems such as your job, your relationships, your health, any of your problems, short or long term. No matter how bad you feel or how much pain you are in, your karmic bank balance is no one’s responsibility other than your own. No one can make a deposit for you, nor can anyone debit your account for you. It’s all yours.
In a sense, it’s an unforgiving image. In another, it’s a totally realistic view of how we need to go through life. We all have moments when we’re less than the person we want to be, and we all have moments when we are exactly who we want to be. Spending my days beating myself up for a grumpy remark to my husband for no reason isn’t going to help either of us, nor does a “I’m sorry” do anything to take away the sting of irritable words uttered carelessly. My unforgiving karmic bank balance allows me to keep a reality check on the person I am versus the person I want to be.
Don’t think this is a holier-than-thou preaching session either. I’ll assure you–I don’t have a vast amount of white in my account! I’m far from perfect, and on a bad day, silence is often the best I can do. I don’t always manage to do my best either. But every once in a while, I have an opportunity open up to allow me to make that all important deposit into my karmic account. It’s important to recognize those moments and take advantage of them too.
Those opportunities can be as varied as snowflakes, and sometimes they are just as short lived too. It can be giving a smile to a child, answering a question, giving money to the homeless guy, donating my time to an environmental group, etc. It’s more than money though–anybody can write a check, if they have money in their account, and while donating to various organizations and causes is a good thing, you don’t have to even have a heart to write a check. Some people do it just to see their name listed among the donors, not because they want to help. Karma, you see, knows the motives behind the actions. Your bank balance may go up for that donation with desire for publicity, but…not as much as if you had given something of yourself without expecting publicity and appreciation.
Think about your karmic account. Figure out ways to minimize your “debits” and maximize your “deposits.” It doesn’t have to be big things–not everyone can go to Africa to care for AIDS stricken children, etc. For most of us, our deposits aren’t going to be vast and impressive, but more like small and frequent. That’s okay. It’s our job, each and every day, to do the best we can with what we have. My goal is to just have it well into the white on the day I draw my last breath.