My sister, Zella, often says, “Bad karma,” when somebody speaks or acts unkindly. It is her way of excusing them because she believes what goes around comes around. Retribution is not her job—their treatment of others naturally returns to them.
This past week I was reminded of her motto. Attending a sizable fine-art show, a particular watercolor painting caught my eye. I stepped closer, and the artist approached me. She appeared to be about my age, and whatever I said, she had an overriding comment. I told her how much I liked the painting, and gratefully wandered away to escape her combative nature.
With the painting still on my mind, I met up with my friend and told her I found a piece I liked. She wanted to see it, so disregarding my first encounter, we approached the painting. The artist continued her attitude. Her work told me all I needed to know about her talent, but she needed us to know she was a superior expert. She turned away to address someone else. The painting had dimensions in the upper corner, and I took a photo to send my daughter so she could measure the wall I had in mind for the picture.
Immediately, the artist abruptly left the other customer, marched over to me, and said, “You cannot take a picture. I don’t want you copying my work. If you want this picture, you can buy it. Erase it, now!” In full shock, I apologized and did as she demanded. I knew it was protocol to ask permission. She then looked down at my phone and said, “Show me!”
In my defense, the same painting was on her promotional handout, so taking a non-flash photo seemed a nonissue. It wasn’t. I felt like a four-year-old who was guilty, busted and punished. I could not get away fast enough. As we left, thinking of my sister’s words, I said, “Bad karma.” My friend added, “I felt it the minute we rounded the corner. I would never have her art in my home.
The artist successfully proved her point, but she lost two promoters, a possible sale, and contributed to the theme of “Be nasty and win.” She will likely sell paintings, but her bad karma will come back to her—her angry eyes and nature diminished her as an artist and quality human.
Saying, “Bad karma,” helped me leave her dark behavior where it belonged—with her, the contributor.
What did I learn? To practice good karma as I tip a server, speak, write, buy groceries, etc. Good karma might not win immediately, but I believe it triumphs in the end.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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