Karmic Debt


I have been thinking a lot about Karma lately, wondering if the quirky little occurrences that are happening in my life lately are nudges—reminders of some forgotten Karmic debt I have yet to pay.  On the other hand,  how  can a person pay a debt when that person is clueless, like me?

The question has weighed so heavily upon me that I even posted a few lines on my FaceBook home page ten days ago. Addressing no one specifically, I wrote, “I think I have a Karmic debt to pay.”

Seeing my statement and aware of the problems I have had in the past with identity theft a friend, Nancy, replied in a playful tone:

And not one that belongs to someone else pretending to be you?” she asked.

In a half flippant way I wrote back, “No, I think it must be mine. Can’t fool Karma. 🙂

I should have realized one must not be flippant—halfway or otherwise where questions of Karma are concerned. In addition to my debt, it seems I also have lessons to learn as Karma does not approve of ignorance and provides teachers readily.

There is a Chinese saying, “When the student is ready; the teacher will appear.”

I had never before paid any serious attention to that saying; I do now.

A week ago, two strangers came to my home to give me an estimate for some painting: a young woman and her father. The young woman and I spoke briefly; the father remained silent. After a few minutes she determined that the job was not something they could do. I thanked her for coming and as I led them to the door, the  father broke his silence. He spoke in a language I do not understand.

His daughter seemed a little embarrassed by her father’s words, like all children are when their parents say odd things to strangers.

“What did he say?” I asked.  “What language do you speak?”

His daughter replied. “My father speaks only Ukrainian. He says to tell you that teaching others is how you must pay your Karmic debt.”

I was stunned by the words. “What  does he mean?” I asked.

His daughter smiled nervously and repeated her father’s words. A few seconds later she took her father’s arm and the two of them hurried away.

I watched them retreat in silence, speculating how  he might know I am a teacher? Is there an air about me that betrays my profession to strangers? And who is it I must still teach, now that I am retired from the classroom?

I  have shared this experience with friends who believe it was some kind of con job or that it was all coincidence.  That may be so; however, they charged me no money and I will probably never see them again. Coincidence? That is probably the only answer. Maybe.

In spite of my friends’ insistence that I am naive, I can’t help but think about odd coincidences —questions and answers that come out of no where.

Now I know that one answer leads to many questions. I am wiser than I was.

Perhaps I will meet that Ukrainian man and his daughter once again or, maybe, my next teacher will be someone else. This student is ready.

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