A Funny Case of Instant Karma


My best friend Kim is a teensy bit negative.  She has a good heart and truly believes in good, but she’s been through a lot the last few years and it’s worn on her.  I’ve been trying to help her see the positive side of life and focus on the things that make her happy.  It’s been a struggle, but she’s slowly getting there.

Yesterday we treated ourselves to a spa visit after work.  She’d never had a full facial before, so I wanted her to experience it.  We went early, had a steam, chatted in a friendly way, and relaxed.  Everything was good.  It wasn’t until we were leaving that something happened to make us both laugh all the way back to our car.

Down in the parking structure you have to pay for your parking before you exit.  We stood behind a guy who was already paying and waited.  When it was finally our turn, it spit the guys ticket out at us.  He’d run of, obviously in a hurry, forgetting to grab it after paying.  Kim is not a mean person, but her instinct was to just leave it.  I thought how frustrating it would be for him to get all the way to the exit and have to come all the way back.  And maybe someone else would have taken it by then!!  Technically we could have grabbed it and left without having to pay for parking, but that thought didn’t cross my mind until much later.  I grabbed the ticket and hurried after him, waving down his car.  Another person in their car saw that I was trying to get his attention and honked for me, making the guy finally stop.  I smiled at him and gave him the ticket.  He thanked me profusely.  I could tell he was pleasantly surprised and relieved that I’d given it back to him.

I turned around to rejoin Kim.  She smiled sheepishly and admitted that she wouldn’t have done that.  In that exact moment, I looked down and there was five dollars on the ground.

We immediately burst out laughing.  How’s that for instant karma!!  I never find money on the ground.  Maybe five cents somewhere, but never a bill.  It was just sitting there out in the open.  I picked it up and handed it to Kim and said ‘have a little good karma’.  She laughed, refused to take it, so I bought us a coffee on the way out, giving the rest to the tip jar.

I never think about the rewards when I’m doing something.  I used to be exactly like Kim.  It’s not that I didn’t want to help others, it was more that it never occurred to me to do so.  I ran after that guy driving off thinking how frustrated he would be when he got to the exit, not what I would get out of it.  And you don’t always get that instant dollar amount in return for a good deed.  But it was so funny that it made the entire night perfect for us, and that meant more than finding money.



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