”What goes around, goes around, goes around… comes all the way back around”* ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ – Justin Timberlake
A few weeks ago, I went on a date with a very interesting human being (Angelfish? Pufferfish? Shark, Eel, Other Creature? You be the judge!) who claimed to believe in nothing spiritual apart from the concept of karma. What. Goes. Around. Comes. Around. You reap what you sew. Or as Kid Rock so eloquently puts it, “you get what you put in, and people get what they deserve”. For one to fully understand this notion and this blogworthy person, you must first understand what exactly karma is. Originating in Ancient India, Karma is said to be a cause and effect type of cycle based upon our actions. A person’s actions form their karmic cycle, which shapes all past, present, and future experiences. The “fruits of our actions”, as they are commonly called, determine our future karma. In simpler terms, being a good person and performing good deeds will result in good and praiseworthy things occurring in your future and being a bad person and performing harmful acts or deeds will result in bad things happening in your life. The effects of karma may be immediate or delayed- but it the end- your karma will catch up with you- good or bad. And it is ultimately your choice to be a good or bad person in this world. You earn the type of karma you receive in the end.
Though, I agree that what you give to this world often can and does come back to you in the same way- I was baffled by my date’s seemingly radical beliefs and behaviors based on his supposed belief in karma. As I got to know him better I began to realize that he was one of those people who believes so strongly in his feelings, viewpoints, and ideas that unless you agree with him you are digging your own grave by attempting to challenge him or change his beliefs. He is headstrong and opinionated. He has a dash of charm and judgment in his words. And he honestly believes he has experienced much more than most people ever will in this world- thus making him a very educated person, at least in his own arrogant opinion. His thoughts, feelings, and viewpoints are always backed with statistics and some sort of story. Again, showing that he is accurate in his assertations and you are likely ignorant and just plain, wrong unless you agree with him.
After the despair and confusion of my last relationship, I wasn’t sure when I would be ready to date again. Over the past few months, I have been asked out by many really nice guys, friends I have known for years, and have been pursued by guys I knew I would never want to date. But I, simply, was just not ready. I shyly shrugged of each suitor saying I already had plans for the evening or had a family function to attend. I don’t know what made me say yes to this particular person but I did. I still didn’t feel quite ready to date but I was tired of sitting around wallowing in my pain, eating a whole package of oreos in a sad attempt to make myself feel better, and watching my sisters cuddle up to their boyfriends on the couch each night as I sat alone. So when this guy asked, even though I knew very little about him, I halfheartedly agreed. I thought if I didn’t start dating soon, I may shut myself off from the possibility of finding my Nemo- my prince charming- just because I was scared or my heart was not fully healed just yet.
After a few weeks of talking, I really began to like this new guy. He seemed to say all the right things, gave compliments I only wished my ex-flame would have done, and knew of my fragile state but was still willing to put in the effort to potentially, as he put it, “win the prize” (me). On our first date, I began to see my possible love interest’s opinionated and somewhat cocky demeanor. As we drove into the parking lot of the restaurant after a very fun and entertaining first date, he snickered at the businessmen walking by claiming they looked like, in his own words, “d-bags”. When I retorted, “my dad is a businessman”. He simply replied, “so am I, just not like those guys”. I mumbled under my breath, “aren’t we a bit judgmental”. All he said was, “yes”. And the date went on… There were a few other little factors that made me wonder if this guy was really the type for me but at that point the jury was still out. After our first date, I was unsure of how I felt. Was I just not ready and standoffish? Did we even have a good time? Was it awkward? Or was the date simply how first dates were supposed to go? My mind went blank. I hadn’t had a date where I didn’t know the person beforehand so I had no idea if my date met first date expectations. The next few days passed, and I still conversed with this person. He told me how great of a time he had on our first date and we talked about getting together again, so I thought, the first date couldn’t have been all that bad. In retrospect, we did have a pretty good time. Even if I was a bit hesitant and unsure of this new person. So when he asked me out again, I agreed to go on a second date. This time, I got to choose what we would do on our date. I decided we would go on a double date with my best friend Steph and her boyfriend Mickey. After all, I wasn’t sure about this person and eventually (if we were to start dating) he would have to fit in with my best friend and all the people who mean the most to me- why not start now? As I talked about my next date and what we would be doing with my sisters they wanted to join. The next thing I knew, our small group date turned into a pack of twelve! Many of my really important friends wanted to be there. I am not the type of person to bring a new guy around everyone so soon, so I was terrified! But my date didn’t bat an eyelash. All he said was, “I can handle it”. The day of our second date quickly approached and I was a nervous wreck but my date was calm, cool, and collected. He came over met and talked with my parents, sat rather quietly through dinner observing everyone, and we ended the night playing games with our large group. Overall, I thought things were going pretty well… Little did I know that the next few hours would turn my seemingly enjoyable second date into a huge disaster sinking faster than the RMS Titanic.
This is where the karma notion comes back into play. Now, I’m not overly judgmental and believe this person possess some very good qualities (which is what attracted me to him in the first place) but if what you put out into the world is what will eventually come back to you this person either truly does not believe in karma or I fear, will eventually inhabit one of the lowest rungs of the karmic cycle. This same person, who cannot grasp the concept of a God who would sit around and watch all the bad take place in the world and do nothing, willingly engaged in some activities that (in my opinion) would ruin a person’s karma.
After a few people in our group had gone home or went to bed there were about six of us left. This is when the cat came out of the bag with a big ROAR! My date discussed many questionable things that caused me (and everyone else in the room) to throw up more red flags than strikes at a baseball game. He discussed his inability to be in a non-sexual relationship stating how he had to dump an ex-girlfriend who wanted to remain a virgin until marriage because he would be unable to wait. He bragged about being involved with married women claiming the aftermath of these acts were not his fault or concern because these women were unhappy in their marriages and were willing to cheat. If it wasn’t with him they would have found someone else. He shared that if these women only told her husbands all of the things they told him there would have been no reason for any of them to stray. What baffles me most is this person WILLINGLY divulged this information to people he had just met. People he likely should have been making an effort to get to know or trying to impress had he truly wanted to get to know and date me as he claimed. Not only did my date express his opinions on the other people he had met that night, calling (unknown to me) my sister’s boyfriend an ignorant hick, but he really didn’t let anyone else get much of a word in on any topic once he began talking. He discussed how he believed he could take home 9 out of 10 women at a bar because he would know the right things to say and do. He shared his feelings on politics, sports, and gambling (which he proudly states is his only job). He spoke about the group dynamic of the people we were and how “rich, preppy kids tend to associate with other rich, preppy kids”. He enlightened us with his “that which I don’t know can’t hurt me” philosophy on life and how his now engaged ex-girlfriend had cheated on her fiancé multiple times with him. I could go on for hours about the word vomit that this person threw up and all the thoughts that were running through my head. I could share all the opinions, comments, and statements made by all my loved ones the next day and even share things that were said that I did not hear or remember. But the things that stuck in my head most about this dating disaster was not all the red flags or reasons my friends gave as to why I deserved better but rather- how do all of these things affect this person’s K.A.R.M.A. If this person truly believes that what goes around comes around (as he claims)- then what exactly does he expect to happen in his life? How does sleeping with married women and willingly cheating with an ex who now has a boyfriend better your life or theirs? (Are you going to cheat on me too?) How does passing judgment on people you’ve just met without taking the time to get to know them make you a good person? (Or one worthy of becoming a part of someone’s life when those people are already a stationary element?) How does the philosophy of “that which I don’t know can’t hurt me” really better you? (Because then you’re just living a lie and allowing potentially bad things to occur. And then does that mean, that which I do not know won’t hurt ME?) How does taking home 9 out of 10 women better you or help you be a good boyfriend or future husband? And the more scary question, what number did he expect me to be? I don’t know… (but I’ll tell you- I’m going to be #10 because that’s the ONE you WON’T be taking home after all this word vomit)
All I do know is this life is too short. Too short to live your life as a bad person. Too short to not hold onto the ones you love with all you have. And much too short to waste your time or settle for someone who won’t wait until you’re ready, be faithful, put your own well-being and feelings above their ever changing hormones, or does not possess the qualities you feel are necessary for a future companion. That is what love is. That is the stuff relationships are based on. And that is what I hope to find one day. I may not believe in karma as strongly as some people but I definitely believe that the type of person you are and your actions shines through to others. By being a good person worthy of great things, eventually (in God’s time- not ours) great things will come your way. I know I’ve made my own share of mistakes and done things that I am not proud of. But I would never willingly repeat those things and I pray for forgiveness and guidance every day as I work towards being the person I want to be. I strive to change those things I am not proud of and be a better person.. I pride myself on being a good person, giving more than I receive, and believing in all that God has promised. I may not have received all of my “good karma” yet but I know that by trying to be someone worthy of great things that I will one day get all that I long for. I’ll be that tenured teacher passing my expert knowledge and love of literature onto my students. I’ll be healthy and in shape, living a long and fulfilling life. I’ll get my PH.D. I’ll have a house of my very own. And, of course, I’ll have that fairy tale dream where my prince charming will come riding in on a horse-drawn carriage and sweep me off my pretty little feet. And it will be wonderful, and magical, and the stuff that dreams are made of!
Until then, I’ll keep walking this Earth in my cute pink shoes attempting to be a good person and dodging Radiohead’s “Karma Police” while waiting for my karma to catch up with me…