Hump Day: Seeking good karma in a negative world – even from ad jingles

Hump Day 2 croppedHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript

During the recent Powerball lottery craziness in the United States when the jackpot hit an incredible $2.1 billion in Canadian dollars, social media was filled with superstitious people trying to increase their so-called ‘good ‍karma‍’ by promising to split their winnings with anyone who’d share a photo of their ticket online. Somehow, they believed that the lottery gods were up there checking everyone’s Facebook account.

Desperation often gets people to try to change their ‍karma for the better. I’ve been trying to get to church more often in 2016 than I did last year. I managed to go for three weeks in a row until my streak ended last weekend when a headache kept me at home. You know you don’t go to church often enough when the Virgin Mary’s statue’s jaw drops open in shock and she clutches her pearls when you walk through the front doors. Surely, that’s a sign you need to go more often.

I joked with friends that I was only going in order to increase my chances at winning the lottery, but if that’s the only reason on-and-off-again churchgoers returned, everyone would be winning the million!

Short-term good deeds or habit changes aren’t much good for changing one’s ‍karma – if we can change our ‍karma at all. I do believe we can. I’d hate to believe that sending out good into the world is worthless. Surely, doing good and helping others helps us – maybe not in lottery winnings, but in other aspects of our lives.

What drives me crazy, though, is when I see complete and utter jerks seemingly living the high life. Nice job. Nice house. Nice car. Nice vacations. But are they truly happy by running over everyone in their path to get ahead in life? Of course, not everyone who’s successful trounces over other people, but it irks me to no end when I see people are who are just downright mean achieve success – at least on the outside.

Maybe they’re miserable behind closed doors, I’m not sure. Would I bring bad ‍karma upon myself if I said I hoped they were just a little bit miserable? A bum knee? Bad breath?

I’m sure we’ve all seen colossal jerks enjoy the finer things in life while people we deem much more worthy – because of their kindness and good deeds – get the shaft in all things life-related. I just hope that ‍karma catches up to the jerks at some point – even when it’s time to go through the pearly gates in heaven. ‘Sorry, Mr. Smith,’ St. Peter would say. ‘You may have sailed through life being a big meanie, but we do things a bit differently up here. You’ve been selected for our deluxe cavity security check before you’re allowed in. During the exam, we’ll have a little chat.’

I don’t know if going to church more often increases your good ‍karma. It certainly can’t hurt, as long as you follow it up with nice deeds, kind words and generosity. This is difficult, though, in a life that sometimes throws us curveballs. It’s hard to keep being positive and super nice to everyone and everything when things aren’t going your way. We’ve all fallen into the ‘pity party’ trap. ‘Oh woe is me! The world’s out to get me!’

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The world isn’t out to get you – or me, for that matter. There’s a tonne of opportunity out there. We can create our own good ‍karma by taking action.

glass half fullI’m naturally an optimistic person. I don’t like cynicism. I prefer to trust people before I mistrust them. With that said, I’ve learned to also follow my gut feelings. More often than not, I regret it when I don’t. But I have to say, all this doom and gloom about the economy – local, provincial, national and international – is getting to me.

After this austerity is over, I hope we can start being a bit more cheerful again. Cut this. Cancel that. Close it. Lay them off. This negativity is permeating our very psyches. I’m an optimistic person, but this constant bad economic news is starting to affect me. What ‍karma did we send out to deserve this mess?

Without wanting to sound like a hippy, maybe it’s time for a bunch of us to stand on a hilltop, crack open a few bottles of Coca-Cola and start singing, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.” If our ‍karma caused all this wretched doom and gloom, we’d better do something now to change it – even if we have to rely on 1970s advertising jingles for help.

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