COLUMN: Kindness leads to good karma

Angela Oliver

I’m only 23, but I’ve lived enough to know that Murphy’s Law is real: if something can go wrong, it will. And even worse, when people make things go wrong on purpose, karma will come back to teach them a lesson.

But I’m the type who tries to always find the bright side.

Tuesday night, as I walked back to my car, a male student was standing at his truck, which was parked next to mine. He looked a little suspicious. Well, not really, but when it’s dark and I’m alone in a parking lot, everybody is a suspect.

Anyway, he walked over to my car as I was getting in, and I had one of those “uh-oh” moments where I wished I had a weapon stashed in my glove box. But he was simply approaching me to let me know that he scraped the side of my car as he was backing out.

I was upset, of course, as my poor little Bodie has already suffered enough. But I appreciated that the guy was kind and honest. He could have easily left the mark, driven away and not waited around for me to come out of the building. But he was responsible enough to call the police and do the right thing. And that’s a bright side to me.

Maybe he believes that karma works strongly, as I do. It floats around campus every day. Like the athlete who uses steroids, then tears a ligament and can never play again. Or the student who steals valuables from other people’s dorm rooms, and later, their car gets broken into.

Whatever the action and its following result, people never realize how quickly their actions can catch up with them. To prevent that, people should simply practice kindness toward each other.

Kind thoughts lead to kind words. Kind words lead to kind actions. And kind actions lead to pleasant interactions and lasting friendships.

You never know how much your simple gestures will mean to people who are having a rough day or dealing with problems at home. So speak with a smile to passersby, or hold the door if you see someone with a handful.

Nas suggests being mindful of your actions in “Small World,” a song about people burning bridges or doing crazy things when they think no one is watching. He warns that “it’s a small world … You reap what you sow … You get away with it now; soon enough it catches up to you … It’s a small world; watch what you do.”

You don’t have to become best friends with a stranger, but small talk and showing a little courtesy beats rudeness any day.

And after all, good karma will come back to you, too.