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Friday, November 25, 2011


I was doing my usual stuff on the computer, but left the room to take a phone call. When I came back, I was met with a black screen. This can’t be a good thing. I’m feeling like I must’ve done something terribly wrong to be punished like this, and that’s nothing compared to what John’s going to feel when he checks his messages and hears my distress call after he’s spent so much time and effort already on my last computer disaster. Ohhhhh!!!!

So… round? Maybe the circular nature of computer problems? Maybe something to take my mind off such things? What goes around, comes around? Blah, blah, blah. It’s hard to be philosophical when faced with a black computer screen, or maybe it’s necessary to be philosophical at times like this. Isn’t some of this how the idea of karma started?

I don’t remember when I first heard about karma, but it made sense to me – at least in a general way. Or maybe I just wanted karma to exist? Good is rewarded, bad is punished, and the world makes more sense than when obviously bad people get ahead in the world. Do we really want to live in a world where the robber barons buy the best seats in heaven? It’s far better to think of them working in the coal mines in their next lives to pay for their sins. Maybe my desire for karma to exist is a simple plea to the universe to make sense.

Once, I held a door open for a woman going into a store. I didn’t have to do it since she was several yards behind me, but it was raining and she looked rather miserable. Her surprise and gratitude hit me in the heart. I felt like I got a karma point that day. Well, being a collector of things, I figured one karma point was good, lots were better, so I started holding more doors open. No more karma points were awarded. Apparently you don’t get karma points by doing things for karma points. People actually started being kind of nasty to me as they walked through my open doors. I guess they caught onto the fact that I was trying to make myself feel better and they weren’t going to play my game. Serves me right.

After some consideration, I decided the only real way to collect more karma points was to consistently do nice things for others and hope some good would stick along the way. It makes for a much simpler philosophy, and is much easier to maintain. I hold open doors when the person behind me is the right distance away for that to be appropriate or if they’ve got their arms full. Anything more seems to fall into some level of codependency. It’s a complicated world, and the longer I live in it, the more rules I think I understand. At least they seem clearer sometimes. The rest of the time I feel like I’m just grasping at rationality because the world is actually as insane as it seems. Even so, my ideas of karma make my path clearer, and help me walk around with my head up. More doors are opened, more people spread sunshine, and the world makes more sense.

I doodled my karma coin today with the thought that John deserves karma points for his computer help. I’m not sure how that fits into his Catholicism, but I figure he’ll understand my intent. I had already tried restarting my computer earlier today, but since that didn’t work I started unplugging things so I could force Korki’s laptop back into service. I was thinking about my gratitude to both Korki and John when the thought occurred to me to try plugging the power back into my computer. Presto!!! My computer booted up like it was just waiting for me to do exactly that. Can you hear the angels singing?

I’m not sure who’s karma points got cashed in for this latest miracle, but I’m not rocking the boat. I’m fighting the urge to go find doors to open for old people.


  1. Nicely said. I also strongly wish for karma to be real, but I know that maybe it isn't. I do hold doors open for people. And I don't think it's that you got a karma point the first time you did it with nothing after. I think in fact the first time you did it, you unlocked a karmic level which you get to keep if you continue to do the "good deed", no matter the reason.

    But it's also true you can go too far, as in making people hurry up to get to the door you are so magnanimously holding. I have done the same, and tried to be more aware of such things the next time I think to hold a door. :D

    I like the way your karmic point looks a bit like a badge you might sew on a sleeve.

    Oh! And as for computer problems, I think that may be outside of the karmic sphere (as I see it). Computers are just sets of electrical bits that sometimes fail or hiccup.

  2. I really like the idea of cause and effect Linda but I still think a little kindness always goes such a long way. I'm not sure I am after Karma points either but just occasionally it puts a smile on someone's face and yes occasionally you get a slap from it! I am so glad that the black screen of death on your computer decided that it would rather play the game this time and you are back on line again. I love your Karma badge - perhaps you could hand them out as your open those doors? ;0)
    Enjoy your weekend,
    Jane x

  3. Karma coin...I like it! It's very official looking and well executed!

  4. In September, I posted expecto patronum (from Harry Potter) art because someone was dementing me. I turned it into business cards, and started handing them out. People really seem to like them and have handed them out to their dementors. Maybe I'll do something similiar with karma coins? At least awarding karma points is a nicer activity than repelling dementors. I like the idea of this being a badge. Maybe I'll make an iron-on version. Thanks for the comments!

  5. Ooooh, I like the idea of Karma points and Karma coins. Yours looks very official, like it belongs on White House letterhead. Gov't could stand to spread more good karma, hehehe.

    Sometimes people don't appreciate when I hold doors open for them. Maybe it's because I hold my hand out like I'm expecting a tip? ;)

  6. I don't know if you can go around collecting karma points, but I think just doing the right thing - as you do, is what will have a positive impact on the karma. But I still like the idea of karma coins. As to the computer problem - sometimes the simplest solution is what is needed. An enjoyable read. Thank you.

  7. Very cool Karma coin. I have come to love reading your posts Linda. I always know that the story will make me smile. Kind of like Bella's comments always do ;)

  8. Maybe I should have a red Salvation Army bucket when I'm holding doors open? :) My friend suggested that my black screen of death was actually just a screen saver problem. Phew! All of your comments make me smile. Thanks!!

  9. I love your Karma coin, it looks like so official and whoever gets it is deserving! I'm always amaze when people let doors slam behind them or go out of their way to squeeze around someone, without just saying excuse me! Oh, well...I'm glad they're people like you giving Karma coins, now I only wish there was someone giving out good manners, too! Wonderful illustration!!!!

  10. Oh yes, I for one was convinced that the president of the USA had given you this one personally. How is LBJ? He must be getting on a bit now. And Ladybird? She'd b e in her late sixties by now??

    Okay, enough sillyness. I just love how your words and images work so well, talented you are, yes. I guess it makes it harder on you knowing which one to work on the most.

    Ahhh computers aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrghhhh - when all else fails, panic :)

    fingers crossed it doesn't happen again -

  11. ...and Culture Club can sing your theme song!

  12. I completely agree with you Indigene about manners! I kind of hate to think of LBJ's karma considering Viet Nam, but he did do quite a bit for civil rights. I wonder if that means he works in the coal mines in his latest life, but has a good health plan?

    I loved Culture Club. Who better for my theme song? Maybe Culture Club with Lady Gaga? :)

  13. I missed visiting your blog for some time, and I love this post - and your design of the karma-coins.

  14. AHA, great minds think a like, I guess - with the Karma thing :). Yes, I suppose that karma is a sort of currency. I'm hoping so anyway! And for what it's worth, whenever my computer is acting differently than how I want it to, I turn it off and turn it back on. I'd say that works about 98.7 percent of the time!

  15. Seems like I've been turning it off a lot lately. So far that's been working, but it makes me very uneasy. John my computer savior should be coming back soon to do some more CPR on the thing. I think I've cashed in quite a few karma coins lately!