The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

The Cost of Your Karma

Recently, I’ve been writing a lot about human personal interaction and the way it affects the condition of a person’s life. Because really, isn’t that all we have? Our life. What we live. How we live. And, who comes into our life.
Each person brings with them a certain set of lived reality. For some, that reality is defined by goodness, caring, and the desire to help. For others, that reality is desired by wanting. In either case, who we meet and what they do once we meet them comes to not only affect our life, the choices we are presented with, but ultimately what we do with what that other person has brought into our life.
We all know the various types of people. There are those who want to give us something and those who want to take something from us. Of course, most life interactions are not that cut and dry as most people exist somewhere in between these two extremes. But, no matter the cause or the case, what a person first desires and then chooses to do is what sets the entire rest of their life into motion and it directly affects all those who are affected by their desires and their choices.
Throughout history, this is why some people have chosen to retreat to places like monasteries. It is believed that the farther you remove yourself from the world, the less internal conflict you will encounter. Of course, this is true. This is why many people retreat to whatever safe hiding place they can find. The less you do, the fewer people you interact with, the number of your life problem substantially diminishes.
Over the past couple of decades, life and life interaction has changed drastically due to the development of the internet. People live, work, buy, sell, and interact on a scale that was impossible just a few years ago. For some, they find this appealing. For others, however, all kinds of life interaction comes at them in ways they never imagined that they do not want or appreciate. Today, the fact is, virtually no one is not affected by this human construct that has taken on its own identity in many ways.  It has become virtually impossible to retreat. From this, the pathway of human existence has drastically been altered. One may argue that this factor has not changed the true personality of a person. Though this may be true, it has given everyone a new set of tools to live their life by if they wish to partake of them.
From this and because of this, what a person chooses to do with their life has the potential to affect others in not only so many previously unknown ways but also to direct a person’s life down an either positive or negative pathway.
This is where life gets complicated. This is where life has always gotten complicated. What are you going to do with the tools at your disposal? Are you going to use them to get what you want? Are you going to use them to give someone else what they want? Are you going to use them to fulfill your own desires? Or, are you going to employee them to give to someone and/or remove the hurt from someone else’s life? Are you going to help or are your going to hurt?
Most people do not take the time to truly understand why they are doing what they are doing and what effect it will have on that someone else that they might not even know. But, hurt anyone and everyone is hurt. One hurt has the potential to move from your single action and go on to hurt a multitude of other people. This is also the case if you help one person. This positive action has the potential to move outwards and create a great world of giving.
But, why are you doing what you are doing? This is a question few people as themselves. Few people ask themselves this question because they do not want to know the answer. They may possess a million rationalizations. And, even if they believe what they are doing is being done for someone else, it is them who is instigating the desire to do what they are doing. Thus, the truth be told, all they are doing is doing something for themselves.  Some people are fine with this fact. But, if they are, (if you are), then what does that say about that person. It says, they do not care about anybody but themselves and all they are doing is being done with only themselves and their own set of wants and desires in their mind. How can that be a good thing?
In Buddhism, it is understood that all life actions are defined by the Sanskrit word, “Cetanā.” This word means, “Intention.” Your intention is what sets your actions into motion and your intention is what will ultimatly defines what your actions will equal—not only to your life but to the life of all those affected by what you choose to do.
In the Satipatthana Sutta the condition known as, “Mindfulness,” or, “Sati,” in Sanskrit is explained. It details how one can consciously encounter life. But, you don’t have to read a sutra to understand what is right or wrong and how you can behave in a conscious manner in your life. You simply must be willing to view the possible consequences of your actions on a grander scale than simply how what you are going to do will affect you. You must reach outwards from self-consciousness to view the grand scale of all humanity and see how what you do will affect that next one person and may spread outwards to affect numerous others.
Doing right is always a very obvious choice. Justifying your doing something that will hurt someone/anyone else is always the wrong choice. It’s really very simply. That is mindfulness. Caring enough to choose not to hurt the life of anyone but to put whatever desire you have away and help.
What you do with your life is your choice. But, as in all things life, there will always be consequences, both good and bad. If you help, you have helped. That will spread outwards. If you hurt, you have hurt. That too will spread outwards. Whether you help or hurt one person or millions, that will come to be the definition of your life and will either cost your life a lot or you will be rewarded in goodness.

Ask yourself these simple questions before you do anything, “Is what I am about to do going to make me smile? Is what I am about to do going to make the person I am doing it to smile?” Your answer will tell you what you should or should not do.

Your life is your choice. But know, for everything you do, there will always be a price to pay. If not today, someday.

Choose mindfulness over desire. Choose to care more about that someone else than yourself. That is true enlightenment.