Sunday, August 26, 2012

Karma: The Reason I Wear Opaque Tights

There is a universal truth that the energy you send out into the world is one day going to come back to you. I’ve heard it called the principal of reciprocity, the boomerang effect, karma, and biblically it is spoken of as “what ye sow so shall ye reap”. No wonder the golden rule is so profound; it really is the way things work. Send good out into the world and it will come back to you. Every single time I give love or kindness to anyone I’m guaranteed a return on my investment, no risk and generally a 200% increase. Take that Goldman Sachs. But as with all things the converse is true. The second I make a snarky comment, say an unkind word, or lose my temper I’m literally asking for trouble.
Case in point: About the time I was thirteen I became friends with a wonderful girl we’ll call Laura Carson. Laura was the oldest of seven and her family always sat on second pew center at church. You know how it is, every family has “their pew” and if some unsuspecting person gets there ahead of time and takes the spot the world comes crashing down. Anyway, they always sat there because it was large enough to hold the entire family in one row. Laura’s mom always sat directly in the middle of said pew so that she could reach out in either direction and thump any child who was getting out of hand during the service. Her husband had a calling as the ward clerk and had to spent every Sunday up in front taking notes and wasn’t available to help her.

One Sunday in the middle of the meeting the Carson brood was getting a little riled up and the two smallest boys began a tag team maneuver on their mother. In a coordinated effort the littlest one took off running around the end of the pew and circled until he was directly in front of his mom in the row ahead. When she leaned forward to grab him and pull him back to his seat his older brother grabbed the back of her dress and flipped it up over her head.

There was a bit of uncomfortable silence in the audience and even the speaker stopped momentarily as Laura's mom grabbed the skirt hem from the top of her head and put everything back where it was supposed to be. Just so you know she was a great lady with a sense of humor and so she laughed it off with a little bit of a red face, reached out, nabbed her youngest and plopped him back down in his seat.

Several rows back I laughed... hard.

It was a crappy thing to do, the poor woman was just trying to keep her active little children quiet and with seven kids that is a monumental task. Unfortunately it was more than my immature character could do to keep quiet, I had no empathy at all for the embarrassment she must have felt.

Fast forward fifteen years and it finds me with two little rambunctious angels of my own who make every Sunday a circus from start to finish. In those days as soon as the last syllable of the last “amen” sounded I was up and headed out the door to my car, angels in tow. 

We went to church in a large ward in those days and many of the other members had the same game plan I did. There was always a large crush of people headed to the parking lot in a race to see who could get out of there the fastest. 

One particular Sunday I was way ahead of the pack having edged towards the doors before the prayer was even over. I was in a hurry and I was wearing a long black skirt that day with an elastic waistband on it. Not exactly fashion forward but these are the kinds of things you wear when you have just been pregnant and still haven't managed to get that last pound-and-a-half of baby fat off. (For you pregnancy novices pound-and-a-half is code for "wow is she still pregnant?") 

As I hurried my little boys out the door and across the parking lot I could hear the crowds of people behind us headed for their cars. As we walked Andrew began tugging on my skirt. "Mom, mom, mom, mom." Since I was determined to get to the car and away before we had to sit forever I ignored him. He continued to tug and all of a sudden I had the strangest feeling. 

What was this cool refreshing breeze on my backside? I reached back and realized that my skirt was no longer in its appropriate place. It had migrated down my tush and was quickly making its way towards the ground. This revelation did not prepare me for what came next. 

As I madly reached down to frantically correct the situation I tripped over the skirt that was now around my ankles and went headfirst into a blossom laden shrub that lined the sidewalk we were on.

There I was in all my glory, skirt around my ankles, headfirst in a flowering almond, in front of hundreds of thousands of people. I bounced back up as if I had come face to face with a cobra and yanked my skirt back up. With red face I pushed my hair back and laughed it off. 

Twenty feet away a thirteen year old girl laughed... hard.

I don't understand how it works but our thoughts and actions send a ripple out into the universe. They affect the people around us and after a journey of days and years those ripples come back to us. What we sow we reap. It's really pretty amazing, we decide our future happiness and ultimately our fate by doing small and simple things every day. 

Being compassionate and kind, helpful and loving to others is in a very real way being those things to ourselves. 

So the next time you come across a lady head first in a decorative landscape item, be kind. You may be setting events in motion that will find you in the same position tomorrow. And remember, wearing tights is a good way to prepare in case you have have a ripple headed at you from when you were thirteen. 



1 comment:

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