Q. When Karma Actually Happens: I am in my late 30s and still keep in touch with good friends from high school. “Jim” and “Arlene” were married to each other right out of high school. Jim then cheated on Arlene while they were married with Arlene’s best friend “Maureen.” Arlene left Jim and he and Maureen got together, and while they never married stayed together for years. Needless to say Maureen was not thought of highly and many wished karma to take action on her. Well just this year Maureen died after a long, horrible battle with cancer. Jim left Maureen while she was battling cancer because he “could not handle it.” Many people have been saying, well karma came and there it was, and I have to admit that I have thought the same thing. As someone who personally has been cheated on I have wished much worse on the cheater and the mistress. But is it wrong to feel that she got what she deserved? I think people saying that are terrible but in the back of my mind I cannot truly disagree and I feel horrible for feeling that way.
A: You’re old enough to have noticed that death comes to the cheater, the pure, the gossip. You’ve also probably observed that the idea of some tit for tat design behind it can be difficult to discern. (Although if there is karma, it will be a doozy for Jim.) Maureen betrayed her friend and helped cause the end of a marriage, then died young and agonizingly. I do not think these two events are related. Sure, the people who disliked Maureen may have felt she got what she deserved, but there should be a serious limit on this kind of crowing. I think when you hear such crowing you should say something like, “I’m not defending how Maureen treated Arlene, but I am sorry about her death.”
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