Expecting the Unexpected

Buddhism, Life

 Unexpected_SindorellaPhoto by Trina Alexander (license)

If you haven’t been out in the woods somewhere in the past month, you probably have heard of the “shocking” stories on the newspapers and the social networks, ranging from the celibate’s change of heart, the teenage starlet’s drug abuse, to the superstar’s impromptu marriage announcement.

So why do we find these headlines so “shocking” or “unexpected”? Have we expected things to be otherwise? Have we expected things to be “normal”?

People (mostly not relating to the persons in the stories), caught by surprise, spent hours arguing over which piece of information is true and which piece is made-up, trying to determine who is the angel deserving of sympathy and who is the devil deserving of condemnation. In reality, we would never know which information is valid and which information is false. It’s always the “he said she said,” or the “friend of friend of friend said,” stories. Even if we hear it from the direct source, we could never know if they speak the truth. The fact is if someone does something wrong, it is wrong even though no one can prove it. The fact is if someone does something wrong, they will suffer from the consequence of their action sooner or later, in this life or in future life.

Looking at our own lives, do the “unexpected” also happen to us? Do we lose our loved ones (dead or alive)? Do we lose our money? Do we face with serious health problems? Are we betrayed by trusted friends? Are we blamed or accused for something we didn’t do?

We (the persons in the stories), caught by surprise, spent hours going through traumas, tears, and disbeliefs, screaming “Life is unfair,” “I do not deserve this,” “What have I ever done to the persons who caused me the pain?” In reality, we may not remember the mistakes we have done early on in this life or in our previous lives. Even if we do remember, we may not want to admit them or we may not want to admit how severe they were. The fact is if we have done something wrong, it is wrong even though no one can prove it. The fact is if we have done something wrong, we will suffer from the consequence of our action sooner or later, in this life or in future life.

So how can we be prepared for the “unexpected”?

First, you cannot change the past and you cannot undo what you have done. Accept it that bad things can happen to you and they are the results of your bad karma. If you practice mindfulness, there is a technique that allows you feel less pain by learning how to be just an “observer” of such pain.

Second, you can always create your future. Everything is about cause and effect. You can create your good fortune by becoming a better person, doing more of the good deeds and avoiding the bad deeds. You can start today and you can always start over.

Of course, once in while you may feel that you are doing all the best you can but you are receiving all the worst of this world. On the other hand, the awful lying mean-spirited human being is receiving all the best that the world can offer. This can be exhausting. (Yes, I am exhausted from time to time.)

I have to admit that it took me a while to come to terms with Law of karma. I neither can prove it directly to you nor even to myself. But if I don’t believe in Law of karma, then I would have to keep digging and digging to find a better answer to the question why sometimes I am so “unlucky” or so “lucky.” Well, it could be randomness. Well, it could be coincidence. Well, maybe. But these answers would not make me want to become a better person. These answers would not help us create a better society. Thus, in my humble opinion, believing in Law of karma is the best strategy. It also helps me sleep at night.

Maybe your good karma hasn’t caught up with you yet. Maybe the awful lying mean-spirited human being has done mega-merit projects in his/her past lives. Well, maybe.

As many have said, “what goes around comes around.” So, stick with the do-good plan and don’t give up on your good karma yet.

Written by Dr. Ploy (9 August 2013)

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