When I have to make a decision I always ask myself one question before anything else: is this going to give me bad karma?
If there is something to fear besides fear itself, it would be bad karma. It’s like revenge sought out by God. For you atheists out there, it’s like getting vengeance on yourself.
I apply a general rule of maintaining good karma to all areas of my life. Sometimes it works out, but usually not.
While doing laundry in the dorms I try to restrain myself from taking out other peoples’ laundry when their load is done. I like to think that if I don’t mess with other people, they won’t mess with me. The principle of karma.
However, I tend to not remember what time my laundry will be done. By the time I get back to the laundry room, expecting to find all of my clothes sitting in a washer (where I’m having them air-dry of course), I see my socks, shirts and unmentionables laying out on top of a washer or table. Apparently, people get impatient after five hours.
When I’m not playing with how much Tide to put into the high efficiency machines, I’m probably in the cafeteria.
If I’m waiting in line at the “American Grill,” but all I want are some fries, I’ll still hold my position in line most of the time. That’s right–I’ll have four people waiting for a piece of chicken, which the cook keeps saying will be done in 10 minutes, when all I want is the fries prize.
Some might say that this is the worst decision I could make, which is probably right. But when it comes to karma, it’s not about efficiency, it’s about courtesy. I figure that if I’m waiting my fair turn for something, then I’ll never get cut in line or anything like that.
That kind of thought process never ends up working out. You just get taken advantage of because you’re gullible, like a little kid who thinks Bigfoot is as real as Santa and the Tooth Fairy.
There are lots of times when it’s useless to try and be the nice guy, but I think there are still some legitimate times to try and build up good karma with these actions.
For example, I’m always trying to make sure I don’t offend people who speak other languages. I mean what happens if I end up in Germany without a translator? How am I supposed to rent a Benz to speed down the Autobahn if I can’t spreche deutsche? So, with that in mind, I don’t make any Hitler jokes (but between you and me, that mustache looks ridiculous).
If I end up in Spain or Latin America though, I should be alright because my column is actually syndicated in all Spanish-speaking nations. It goes by the title “That’s what Si said” and is just over seiscientos words in length. They love their weekly dose of Roberto’s palabras.
If my espanol is off, don’t blame me, I checked it all on Wikipedia. I’ve contributed to several profiles on there and did it accurately. I just assume everyone else who posts on there is as accurate as me.
Another area where my karma-inspired actions actually did pay off for me was the placement of my column. I’ve had my column placed pretty much everywhere on the Op/Ed pages, and my favorite position was the one currently held by Max Flessner about an eighth of an inch south of here.
Max is graduating this December (finally), plus I’ll no longer be the editor of this section, so after putting in a solid 12 issues at my current location on this page, I get to return home.
Like Justin Timberlake’s falsetto once said, “what goes around, goes around, goes around, comes all the way back around, yeah.”