The first thing most of us say when faced with unfair treatment is, “Karma will get back at you, sooner or later.”
But what is this karma? What does it really mean?
The word karma comes from Hindu and Buddhist practices. According to the laws of karma, an individual’s actions, both good and bad, decide what comes back to them. The laws of karma are basically the laws of cause and effect; you reap goodness when you sow goodness; but if you sow evil, you reap evil!
Most people think of it as a form of cosmic justice served to people for their actions, especially as a way of making life fair.
But how scientific is it?
The Scientific Side of Karma
Karma is not as simple as fate, rewards, or punishment imposed on the doer by an external agent. Often, when we speak of karma, we speak about the cause-and-effect factor in that individual’s life. But it is much more complex than that.
Let us take a look at the butterfly effect to understand this better.
According to chaos theory, the butterfly effect refers to the sensitive dependence of an outcome on its initial conditions. In simpler words, a teeny tiny change in your actions can cause a very significant change later.
Think about it – when a person helps you out of the blue, you feel happier and have the urge to help others; which could ultimately make your day better. But, also recall the days when someone yelled at you for no reason. It would’ve upset you and influenced your behaviour and actions on that day. You probably took things more seriously, held yourself back a little more, protected yourself more than usual, and helped people a little less.
Notice the difference here?
The smallest of the actions can have the biggest impact. This is exactly how your karma works.
Karma and Social Impact
When you are mindful of your actions, you not only build a better mood but also a better world – quite literally. The constant reminder to become more engaged citizens who are not only aware, but ready to put their knowledge into practice to make the world a better place.
Almost everyone knows and understands the meaning of being kind, caring and responsible and practises it to a certain extent too. But over a period of time, people become indifferent or start prioritising other things. As a result, they forget about civic empathy or social responsibility.
Here, karma can act as a teacher or a guide that’ll aid in our personal growth. It acts as a nudge to live a life being mindful of our actions towards everyone and everything around us. It urges us to be empathetic, stand up, take responsibility and give back to society.
Take the lead
People need to follow karma not just in a spiritual sense, but in a way that guides their civic behaviour. Imagine karma to be an index that reveals scope of improvement or a module that educates one on how they can work towards closing the gap in knowledge, attitude and practice. This will help them become more civic minded and know to ask the right questions and take the right actions to find solutions to problems.
The government is also trying to implement this by introducing social and emotional learning or SEL in the current curriculum. The idea is to build better citizens who can carry the responsibility of a better future on their shoulders – together.
Are you a karmic person? The next time you come across a serious civic issue, instead of complaining about it on social media, let’s learn to talk to the right authorities to fix it.
It’s time to #ThinkWhy and #DoNow to create positive social impact.