I’m not one who believes that there are forces watching us and weighing our every action, meting out punishments in this world or the next. Nor do I think that living a “good life”, devoting yourself to a religion or a spiritual practice are a cosmic prophylactic against harm. The truth is that bad things happen to all people, good or bad (though bad people may be less likely to be taken advantage of).
So, then why be a good person? Well, first of all, I don’t need motivation to be a good person. I try to go through life, at worst not causing harm to anyone, and at best actually making the world better. And there are rewards to that, besides the obvious “it makes me feel good.”
Last night, my upstairs neighbor (the one who broke his glass door onto my porch) gave me his XBox. When I told him that he didn’t have to do that, and that I actually still have an XBox (I had one regular one and one that was…”special”), he said to sell the one he gave me then and use the money towards a new laptop. Today, he brought down an extra controller.
Now, obviously, this says something about who he is, but I like to think that it says something about who I am, too. If I were an asshole, nobody would want to help me out. I must be doing something right.
So that’s the way I see Karma. It doesn’t stop bad things from happening, but it helps you deal with the things when they do happen.