The Trajectory of Karma

trajectory of karmaI read The Groveling Email, not with feelings of vindication or satisfaction, but of embarrassment for the sender. Karma really does have a way of working its magic.

In many professional relationships, one person typically has the “power” or the upper hand. I don’t like to look at things and relationships as so black and white but let’s be real: Usually, one person has what the other needs. Names and details in the following scenario have been altered to protect those involved, but let’s learn about why it’s good to try to go through life not being a douche as often as possible, shall we?

T enjoyed a position of power in her job and used it to advantage. T decided against carrying a client’s product in their large store because she said at the time, “she didn’t like it.” Not a big deal. and my client promptly moved on. Many others are picking up distribution. That’s her prerogative and our livelihood doesn’t count on it. Fast forward one month and T is in a new job in the same industry. However, T’s position is now in a place where she needs my client’s business.

That’s when The Groveling Email arrived.

I’m sorry, I was having a bad day that day and it must have affected my taste buds. I really do like it.

The rest of the email went on asking for that piece of business.

Man, I hate it when I have a bad day and it affects my tastebuds, don’t you? I write this because it would be great to live in a world where none of us ever had to write The Groveling Email. We do this by realizing that all partnerships are equal footing when we tally up not “at the end of the day,” but at the end of … in our death bed.

Unrelated but with a happier ending, Patrick waited impatiently behind a car to make a left turn out of the parking lot. He stopped short of honking his horn at the guy. Good thing, because the next day when his new client showed up for his appointment, lo and behold… it was the guy who couldn’t make the stupid left turn.

Bad karma doesn’t always behave like a boomerang; coming full circle and back at you. Sometimes the tables simply turn and you find yourself in the trajectory of the crap you flung. Think of the people in your community on a time continuum and don’t ask what value someone brings to you “now.”

Photo Credit: coincidentalimages via Compfight cc

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  • davevandewalle

    Did I need that right now. Great piece!

    • Lisa Gerber

      No Groveling Emails. :) thanks, Dave.

  • Jessica

    lovely post, Lisa! Karma is even more so important in today’s digital economy when everything “happens” in the present moment. you can never escape karma! :)

    • Lisa Gerber

      Hi! thanks. and it’s amazing how small the world can be even in the vast, world wide web. You just never know when you’ll need that person later.

  • Trisha

    Very good examples of ‘what you sow, so shall you reap’….and society can never get enough reminders of that! I agree with Jessica that sowing good Karma is even more important in our digital economy, given that it’s a constantly shifting landscape in which you don’t know whether tomorrow will find you on the ‘top’ or the ‘bottom’. A timely piece indeed. :-)

    • Lisa Gerber

      Exactly. It just doesn’t ever pay to be a jerk.

  • Frank Traylor

    Great post, loved the title too. Last night I heard a speaker, Jim, relate a similar story. He was running a sales team at Toyota. Despite a good quarter, Jim’s boss took him aside on a Friday afternoon and said his management style was too soft. That he needed to use a hammer to drive optimal results. Jim was asked to bring the answer on monday; be the hammer or find a job.

    On Monday, Jim said that wasn’t his style, he just wasn’t a hammer kind of guy. Jim was given two weeks notice and was able to find a lower level job at Toyota corporate.

    Roll the clock and karma forward; two weeks before Jim was named CEO of Toyota North America his old boss, the hammer, left the company.

    Your karma boomerang might reflect horn honking, anger, prejudgment, but it also might reflect kindness, empathy, selflessness. You pick your own version of the right life and live it. It’ll matter in the end.

    • Lisa Gerber

      What a great story. Thanks for adding that here, Frank.