I’ve just read about the shooting incident that led to minor injuries for George Zimmerman. Much of the reaction I read on Twitter involved phrases like “[g]od is good,” “Yasssss, bitch,” and “[t]ap me when George Zimmerman is shot dead.”
One possible uniting philosophy in these reactions is the notion of karma; that what goes around comes around and what you put out into the universe comes back to get you.
I do not like the notion of karma. It all seems to easy, too packaged. Be good and get good. Be bad and get bad. I have doubts about a universal monitoring system that will make sure everyone gets what they deserve.
Another part of me does believe many of us have a choice on how we view events that occur in our lives. Sometimes we have the ability to alter our perception and see mostly positive or mostly negative from an event. I don’t doubt that is an option in some cases.
So what? Do good things flow to me because I put out positivity or is it a confluence of factors? Perhaps being positive is part of the process, but I don’t think it is all and is most definitely not something on which we should solely rely.
But this is not what troubles me at the moment.
I wonder what it says about us when we raise a cheer to see a villain get their due. Does a person deserve to get shot because they (allegedly or actually) shot someone else? What does justice really mean? What is a just punishment and does karma truly enforce our arbitrary idea of justice? Who deserves to be punished, why and how? What does it mean to rejoice in the suffering of anyone? Does it darken us? Or is it right for us to say, “Thank god this person finally got what they deserved, especially after all that they did and the sadness and irreparable harm they brought to others”?