I’m not certain what you’d call my faith — faith of everything? The church of me smothered with a mix of various principles I believe in? Reformed Catholic with a smidgen of reformed Catholic rebellion? I have a wall in my bedroom that has little representations of many faiths and cultures around the world. There are about 20 little of these trinkets that surround a giant mirror in the middle. My bedroom wall encompasses what I believe at my core: faith is cool, especially when it’s anchored by an even more rad thing called myself. That’s all well and good until myself does stupid stuff. Then, I call on my overriding belief in Karma.
I’m not sure if Karma means a tit-for-tat, eye-for-an-eye type thing, or if it’s more that, in general, goodness rules over bad. So, if I steal a parking spot from someone I know had waited for it, I know that I’m likely to end up parking in whoop-whoop the next time I’m running late and desperate for a space. This is a sliding scale, of course. If I steal a parking spot from an old lady, well, then I’ll never find a parking spot and go around in circles searching until I have to pee so badly that I have to give up and drive home. The punishment fits the crime.
Karma keeps me honest: Give the parking spot up to the old lady and someday someone will give up theirs for my walking-disabled mom. It’s not exactly a giving philosophy — it’s wildly self-serving. I like to think of it this way: I get out of life what I put into it, and if I can be as good a person as possible, I’m likely to reap that goodness from others. I also believe in the opposite. So, it was no surprise the other day when I suffered from a case of bad karma.
I was hiking with my best friend and talking trash about one of her other friends that I really don’t like. I think this woman is beneath her; worthless and, if I can remember correctly, even called her a “waste of good air.” Oh yeah, I had it coming. My friend mentioned to me that this woman had tripped over a tree stump hiking the other day and broken her arm — I told her it couldn’t happen to a better person.
And then, I fell over a tree stump.
I ended up in the ER with a giant bruiser on my ankle. Crutches, a splint, the whole bit. I didn’t have a single oh crap moment — I knew that I had paid a debt that I owed the House. What’s fair is fair, right?
My foot hurt is still swollen as all getout. It hurts. Again: punishment fits the crime.
Hobbling around town on crutches last week, people asked me what happened to my foot.
I simply replied: “Karma.”