I grew up Catholic without actually ever believing in anything I was being told.  My parents took me to church every Sunday and it was just painfully and pointlessly boring.  The time I enjoyed most was when the priest would read the community announcements because I knew that I had ten more minutes max of sitting on a hard bench, surrounded by strangers singing odd songs.  One of my most vivid memories of childhood was skipping out on CCD with my friend and literally standing outside the building while it was SLEETING out, just to avoid going to “class”.  Think about that, I was more willing to stand in sleet for an hour and a half rather than to sit in a warm room.  This was because, even back then, I found the whole thing to be false.  Like a bad play put on by a bunch of people just going through the motions.  I was confirmed and went with my own name as my confirmation name.  I love that even at 17 I was still a little shit who thumbed his nose at authority.  At that time the whole priest molestation thing came to a head and it served to confirm what I already knew in my heart, saying what god wants and doing what god wants are two completely separate things.  Oh and by god I mean me or you or whatever you want to call the voice inside yourself that tells you the right thing to do.  That, in my world, is god.  Wearing robes and eating a piece of cardboard that dissolves in your mouth does not make you closer to god.  It is literally your actions.  We constantly deceive ourselves into thinking that if we just pray or give money to the collection basket that somehow pleases a massive being who exists somewhere in space and sees everything everyone does.  So our logic goes, if I treat my kids like crap, it doesn’t matter because I put ten bucks in a wicker basket on Sunday.  That is a push and god knows it.  Total bullshit.  So after I escaped the train wreck that was my 20’s, I started reading stuff about Karma.  Almost everyone that I have ever met and had a meaningful discussion about this topic believes in Karma but they have no idea what it really means.  Karma isn’t just the guy on the highway that cuts you off and then flips you off getting pulled over by the cops.  Or Bernie Madoff or any individual person or situation.  Karma is literally everything in human society.  Karma is based on every one of your actions and the effects it has on those who you interact with.  One of the best things about being laid off is that I get to walk my dogs for three miles everyday.  On the way, both dogs always take a dump.  It is just dog walking reality.  There are too many smells going on in the world to keep dogs from added to them.  I hate it when I see a dog walk by my yard and take a crap and the owner not pick it up.  It is truly a dickhead maneuver because it is that person’s way of telling me that they care only about themselves.  It is a total gross pain in the ass to pick up dog shit.  Yet no one on earth wants dog shit to be in their yard.  Everyone knows this so the responsible thing to do is to pick it up.  On my many walks, sometimes the dogs get crazy and take an impossible THREE dumps.  On occasion I am not prepared for these dumps so I have to leave one on someone’s lawn.  I hate that.  Now I bring two or three poop bags with me on each walk, and if I didn’t pick up the poop the day before, I actually make a mental note of where it was so I can pick it up the next day.  Sometimes I pick up poop out of someone’s yard that my dog didn’t even create.  So I am always wanting to come out ahead in the whole poop picking up game.THAT is karma.  We all know what is right and what is wrong.  We know this because of the way our own actions affect the ones around us.  So selflessly doing things for the ones around us that we know they are going to like creates good karma.  This is because those people then may be more inclined to help you or someone else in a time of need.  That is just human nature which, from our own experiences, we know is reality.  Doing things behind our loved ones backs or not being honest with them for one reason or another creates bad karma.  I have been just as guilty of doing this as anyone else in the world.   This kind of karma is a little more mysterious to us because we tend to lie to ourselves and justify our bad actions by saying, Well so and so did this bad thing to me so I am just paying him back!  Karma’s a bitch!  Well that is true but that almost means that that bitchy karma is going to come back on you as well.  Karma is endless.  The times I am most happy are when I can do random nice things for people who I don’t even know because I know that there is a good chance that they will help someone in their lives because of my action.  Like picking up someone else’s dog poop, someone may see me do that and then they may pick some randomly out of my yard.  The bottom line is passing goodness on to your fellow-man will make you feel better and may open up doors and create opportunities for yourself that you never thought possible.  Are you doubtful?  Give it a try and see what happens.  Oh and if you do try it, let me know!  I love talking about that stuff!