The Kinky Green

Karma & Teddy Bears

Posted in The Social,The Spiritual by Joy on July 15, 2009

“That lady over there took two,” the girl who used to be my neighbor runs around the corner to tell me, followed closely by her new young friend. The two are panting in the pounding sun, but seem satisfied immediately upon speaking the revelation.

What lady? I ask, distracted by the bags and boxes, produce and meat and juice before me. I’m focused on sorting, finding balance, ensuring there’ll be enough for everyone to get a share.

“The lady over there,” they point in unison beyond the bushes at my back, which effectively separate my fellow sorters, baggers, and boxers from the folks we’re there to help.

Over there? I’m not sure what’s over there. What did she take? I ask, my mind still on the cabbage before me. The squash, eggplant, potatoes. There will not be enough potatoes.

“Over there. They’re giving away some…” the first little girl trails off, noting my lack of attention. “She took two,” the second girl pipes in, speaking for the first time.

Earlier they’d come over, first my former neighbor, then the other child of the same age. They’d helped us bag up green beans and limes for each of the 300-plus families we were told to expect before the sun and give-aways came out full-force and pulled them off to other distractions.

I stop what I am doing and focus on the children in front of me.

So, she cheated? I ask.

They nod their heads vigorously in unison.

Sometimes, people cheat, I tell the girls, watching as their eyes wander past me, no doubt to the culprit.

I have no authority on the other side of the bushes at my back. Heck, I have no authority on this side. I just showed up. Started doing as I was told. Gave direction when I saw a lack of coordination and focus among the many willing to help but less inclined to lead.

It’s not fair, is it? I ask the little disillusioned ones, and they shake their heads. No. It’s not fair.

Have you ever heard of Karma? Again with the shaking, but this time their eyes are back on me.

Karma is how the world pays you back for what you do. If you do good things, the world does good things for you. And if you do bad things, like cheat, the world pays you back with bad Karma, I tell them. Sometimes, when you see people cheating and you can’t do anything about it, it’s enough to know that the world will take care of them. That Karma will.

They nod, but they’re deflated again, knowing that I won’t be taking item number two back from the greedy cheater. Knowing that what she took means one less thing for them or someone else to have.

Later, they’re back. They’ve gotten brand new stuffed animals from the woman at the table under the trees, and they’re all smiles again. Their teddy bears having seemingly eradicated concern about the cheating woman and her item #2 from their minds much more effectively than I.


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