Is It My Karma or Theirs?

I often say that I have good luck, even when things are bad or potentially bad. My Tibetan friends assure me that I have strong, positive karma, the result of doing good things in current and past lives. Since I can’t quite get my head around the idea of reincarnation—my own theory is that we inherit memories the same way we inherit eye color—I thus assume that my relatively good luck is the result of dumb luck and good timing.

My interest in why I manage to survive or minimize damage was aroused when my former office manager and longtime friend recently sent me this text: “Good morning! I was just telling Owen the story about when you were in your office holding him. He was an infant only a few months old. You were walking around, and your foot caught on the carpet. You started to fall over, and he would’ve landed underneath you. And then, somehow, like a ninja, you managed to twist your body around and fall on your back so that he wasn’t crushed. It was like the most graceful superhuman movement I have ever seen. He absolutely loved the story. You should’ve seen the smile on his face.”

According to an article in TIME, “The Psychology of Heroism, Random Luck and Surviving” defines many who are called heroes. Psychiatrist Deane Aikins, quoted in the article, discourages the idea that heroism is a choice. Instead, he says, “It may be that some people have stress hormones, Adrenalin, and cortisol that run cooler in dangerous situations.” I’ve also read that heroism is a way to achieve status. This is due to egoism rather than heroism, a need to be a savior.

Now that I’ve done a little Googling and research, I can see where I fit into all this: dumb luck, a savior complex, and an Adrenalin addiction. Works for me.

Published by Carole J. Garrison

I’m a conversationalist, an observer, a passionate participant in life. And now, in my later years, I’m a recorder of the lessons of my life through essays, stories, and novels. I live in the fourth moment of life, just outside the normal distribution of most people and it is from this place that I write.

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