Karma Experiment Results: Good deeds are punished

By | August 25, 2011

I thought donating my vacation time to helping feed people and helping friends instead of squandering my money on an island paradise might improve my Karma, but after returning to work from my vacation, I’ve experienced, instead, an obvious run of bad luck. Some people count their blessings, but I’ve started counting my curses:

  • I injured my back at work yesterday and woke up this morning with the kind of back pain where you aren’t sure if you can get out of bed. (I did, but now wish I didn’t. )
  • I got braces yesterday, my first day back from vacation, and my mouth is in pain.
  • My braces keep breaking: Four different brackets broke off seven different times on the first day.
  • First meal with braces: three brackets broke off and I had to buy toenail clippers at the store with an inch and a half of sharp wire sticking out of my mouth and food in my teeth when my attempt to trim my braces as recommended failed.
  • For the last two days I can only eat food from a blender since I have no chewing surfaces due to bite bumps glued onto my back teeth.
  • My blog has been suspended, and I have been unable to post, twice in the past two days due to an artist not wanting me to use certain illustrations.
  • My electric bill from when I was gone is twice the size of the previous month when I was here using electricity.
  • Yesterday, while parking so as to try not to hurt my back moving equipment, I got a $45 parking ticket.
  • I thought I had found a roommate, but it didn’t work out.
  • In the mail today, my eye insurance will only pay $40 of my $95 claim for new eye glasses, my first claim in 3 years.
  • Today, with the pain of the braces distracting me, I hit a pole in a parking lot, doing $1600 damage to my Prius.

Based on the worsening trend, I’m dreading tomorrow, which starts with my third visit to the orthodontist in as many days. FML.

I know, I know, many people have it MUCH worse. I am damn lucky to have a car to damage, and a blog to get suspended, and teeth to cause me pain, and eyes to put glasses in front of, and so on.

Broken braces mouth disaster. Photo Credit: Xeno, Aug 23, 2011

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10 thoughts on “Karma Experiment Results: Good deeds are punished

  1. Marjorie Kaye

    Sorry Xeno. Some days are just like that. I call them my roly poly days where I just want to curl up into a little ball like the little black bug with all the teensy feet. Then I focus on every inconsequential little thing that pleases me until I feel better. It will get better.

    1. Xeno Post author

      I almost took your advice, then I got concerned that I might run too fast and gravity would fail, and I’d float into space and hit my head on the moon. So I’m going to sleep early to dream of more powerful blenders.

  2. kevin

    I don’t think Karma works like allowance. You can’t just do a couple chores and assume you’re going to receive it. I don’t want to be a downer here but when you originally mentioned your goal I felt it was very self centered because it was more about how you were doing it to make yourself feel better rather than to help others. Even now the most simple inconveniences you attribute to punishment rather than a test of the purity of your intentions. Now is the best time to help others, I’ve found when I’m feeling at my worst the best thing to do is make someone else feel better. Again sorry to be a bummer here Xeno, sometimes tough love is the bootstrap of choice.

    1. Xeno Post author

      Hmmm… I spent two good weeks helping everyone I could in high gear. Bit more than a few chores, but I’ll consider this idea that my motive may still have been somehow selfish. I don’t think so…

      PS. I don’t really believe karma works this way. My whole post is a wry joke. Truth be told, I don’t believe in either luck or karma. Both are after the fact tricks our minds play on us by finding (actually, creating) patterns where there are none.

      1. Sam

        Xeno, any psychologist will tell you, there are no unselfish motives. We take care of our children because it pleases us that we take care of them. So it’s commendable that doing good is what made you feel good. You could have done anything with that time to gratify yourself; could have taken that cool vacation, could have gone sky-diving, could have watched porn all week. No, you helped your community to make yourself feel better. It’s selfish because it gratified you: “I feel great, I’m helping!” It’s “good karma” because it helped someone else.

        I don’t believe your bad day is related to the good deeds in any way. However, if it is, I would say it is to test your resolve to do good things. But I think we’re carrying this Karma hokum a little too far.

    2. kevin

      I meant chores as a metaphor. not to slight the amount of work you did. saying there isn’t a 1 to 1 relationship with good actions and good fortune:) I appreciate your response wasn’t the canned tirade I usually receive when I care enough to be honest online. This blog is your karma coupon man, keep it up (and the music) and you’ll be a sexy dolphin with rollerblades when you’re reincarnated.

  3. Ann

    1 I injured my back at work yesterday and woke up this morning with the kind of back pain where you aren’t sure if you can get out of bed. (I did, but now wish I didn’t. )

    2 I got braces yesterday, my first day back from vacation, and my mouth is in pain.

    3 My braces keep breaking: Four different brackets broke off seven different times on the first day.

    4 First meal with braces: three brackets broke off and I had to buy toenail clippers at the store with an inch and a half of sharp wire sticking out of my mouth and food in my teeth when my attempt to trim my braces as recommended failed.

    5 For the last two days I can only eat food from a blender since I have no chewing surfaces due to bite bumps glued onto my back teeth.

    6 My blog has been suspended, and I have been unable to post, twice in the past two days due to an artist not wanting me to use certain illustrations.
    •
    7 My electric bill from when I was gone is twice the size of the previous month when I was here using electricity.

    8 Yesterday, while parking so as to try not to hurt my back moving equipment, I got a $45 parking ticket.
    •
    9 I thought I had found a roommate, but it didn’t work out.
    •
    10 In the mail today, my eye insurance will only pay $40 of my $95 claim for new eye glasses, my first claim in 3 years.

    11 Today, with the pain of the braces distracting me, I hit a pole in a parking lot, doing $1600 damage to my Prius.

    It seems 5 out of eleven (2, 3, 4, 5, 11) are due to your braces. Xeno, when you get braces you’re suppose to, at least, consult a professional who knows what he/she is doing. They’re not suppose to leave you in pain, regardless whatever excuses they may dish out.

    And, 1 and 8 are due to a pain in your back. You’ve ndured similar pain in the past? You do lift weights, I think you’ve wrote in the past. Any connection?

    Don’t worry about your Karma, but that of your dentist.

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