karma ˈkɑːmə,ˈkəːmə/
the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

I don't suppose many people reading this will believe in Karma. I also suppose that out of all people, I should be the last person to believe in it. I've always seen problems with religion. Why do people need an all-powerful being to tell them to do the right thing? Why can we not just accept that we won't move anywhere if we don't move for others? No society in history has ever risen from racism and sexism, homophobia and hate, and yet people ignore this and continue to rely on a god to tell them not to pointlessly insult people. Although people who see the world like this still exist, the world seems to move past them regardless. This small piece of truth is what ultimately makes me unsure about a greater force. I believe in science and facts, but now the fact remains, bad things seem to happen to bad people. Maybe not publicly, and maybe not instantly, but definitely.

Maybe Karma is a consequence of humanity. We are designed and evolved to think about our actions. The only way a person can stop themselves going down is by convincing themselves that what they are doing is for justice and ultimately is the right thing. This seems to be ironic, as the people actually doing the right thing would think in a similar way. This means all bad people can understand what the greater good is, they are simply misguided of what the greater good is. However, convincing your mind that wrong is right causes it's own problems. It will become apparent to others that you are delusional, and your Karma will be delivered.

When some people talk about Karma, they seem to want an immediate consequence to an action. If, say, a person murders someone, some people seem to want a bolt of lightning to immediately take them out, delivering fatal Karma. To me, I believe that would be pointless. If Karma was instant, it would be clear what people could and couldn't do. In typical human fashion, people would use this borderline to act as bad as possible without retribution, and unless the bar was set high, people would still insult each other, still avoid and isolate people for no good reason.

I think subtle and unreliable Karma is exactly what is needed. If someone doesn't know where the line is, they can never be sure if they will have to pay for their actions. They can't be borderline racist if they are unsure where the line is. It means only the bad are punished by the system. If someone is good, they need not have fear of being punished. If someone is bad, then every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and they will soon learn it the hard way.

Of course, there is the alternate view, that while the payment for our actions in this life may not be apparent, we will find it in death. The idea that in heaven or hell, or in reincarnation, we will pay for our sins. I think it would need to be an incredibly complex system to accurately offer retribution for any single sin, but then, if we allow a magical man in the sky who instantly creates a universe which includes the evidence to disprove himself, I suppose a complex system wouldn't be out of the question either. Over and Out,

- Jenny