K is for Karma

a-to-z-letters-kYou know that old joke: My Karma ran over my Dogma.

I don’t know if I really believe in Karma. Don’t get me wrong. I love the concept. It would be wonderful if we lived in a world where what goes around really does come around. If we knew that people who did “bad” things (fill in your own definition of bad here), eventually got their comeuppance or if those who did good deeds were truly rewarded for them, but I honestly don’t know if that’s the case.

In Judaism there’s a concept of “olam habah” – the next world – that certain good deeds will be rewarded when you die. But the catch is that you can’t be sure, can you? And for every person who says they believe in Karma, there are those who will snap back “No good deed goes unpunished.” And if Karma really does exist would we even contemplate the terrible question of why do bad things happen to good people? And  would there be people making a fortune writing books on just this topic?

I confess (feel free to pelt me with rotten fruit right now), I have never been one of those ephemeral types so prevalent here in Los Angeles (it’s not called La La Land for nothing). I don’t believe that hugging trees or sticking notes on my bathroom mirror saying ‘you are beautiful’ and ‘today is going to be the best day ever’ will have the slightest effect on me. I’m not interested in primal scream classes, getting in touch with my inner child, dancing to release chakras, gazing at my belly button,  meditating with crystals on my forehead or launching cryptic Facebook posts that say “I LOVE YOU ALL. HAVE A MAGICAL DAY.” Mostly these kind of things make me want to roll my eyes and shake my head. I don’t spend my days wondering when a unicorn is about to round the corner or if something special will happen to me if I crack an egg and there’s a double yolk inside.

However, here’s what I do believe – and maybe that’s my version of Karma. I believe that when things in your life are terrible that if you reach out to others who are in a worse place than yourself  you will feel better. I believe that people who actively seek to hurt other people cannot be happy people themselves. So maybe this is how things “come around” in the Karma game.

And finally, while I stand by the theory that I never have nor never will post odd stickers on my bathroom mirror, I was amazed to come across a song many years ago that proudly proclaimed the band’s’ belief in Karma.

Meet Savage Garden – an Australian band from the 90s that have long since broken up. I believe lead singer Darren Hayes has gone on to a solo career in London now. But when they burst on the scene down under, their song Affirmation (yes, I know, bathroom mirror stickers), was a huge hit and it sucked me in too. The song really is a list of affirmations. They’re simple, straightforward and the Karma theme runs through it. And I love just about each and every one of them.  Here’s the original video followed by the lyrics (in case you can’t make them out).

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people’s hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it’s bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem
I believe I’m loved when I’m completely by myself alone

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye

I believe you can’t control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe that your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom isn’t fair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye

I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse TV evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye

 

If you can forgive the melody that could have been written by a 4-year-old (or maybe that’s the point – it’s supposed to be simple?), it’s hard not to be sucked into these lyrics. I confess that the only lyric I take issue with is the following: “I believe that trust is more important than monogomy.” Personally, I think they’re both equally important. Beyond that, though, I do find something quite endearing about this song and can listen to it anytime and it will lift my spirits. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite? I’m not sure. Maybe I believe in Karma after all? Or maybe it’s just the power of the lyrics, the repetition of the melody and the extraordinary video that Savage Garden compiled to go along with it that works for me.

Of course, despite being touched by this song, these are the same guys that went on to write the “Cherry Cola” song. Nothing DEEP about that. Go Google it. You’ll see what I mean.

If I’ve offended anyone by this post and you believe in Karma, I guess you can be secure in the knowledge this will come back and bite me in the bum at some point.

4 comments

  1. Great post the only thing I didn’t like was you felt the need to apologize, for what? You made good points. Those lyrics are great and I have it on my ipod, they were big for a time in UK. They had about 5 albums and their big hits were Truly Madly Deeply and I knew I loved you, not that I’m a big fan! omg I just need a cat.

    • Kelly says:

      This is LA. Someone will bop me on the head for not being sensitive to their beliefs. Yes, I remember Truly Madly Deeply and The Animal Song!

      • I will admit that I am a fan of Savage Garden and love the lyrics to this song. Thanks for posting it. Karma is a beautiful concept because it gives a sense of justice to the chaos, but it seems we need to wait for some future existence to see the rewards. Wait, that sounds familiar.

      • Just hit them back with the old, old cliché “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”
        Great post thanks and I do believe in affirmations and all that stuff – there’s so much negative in the world that anything positive is always helpful… Don’t tell the La La’s though, they might be offended. :))

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