Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Instant karma

By popular request, I've opted to at least temporarily reactivate this dusty old blog. We'll see how it goes.

I've often thought of myself as a bad (fill in the blank with your choice of: lay, friend, neighbor, son, brother, uncle, boss, boyfriend, writer, customer, etc. etc. etc). I don't usually think of myself as a bad person as a whole package. Yesterday, though, I had one of those moments where I thought that I was a terrible person. And karma came to bite me on the ass. And she came pretty quickly.

For those of you who don't know (and assuming that anybody at all is reading this after more than a year of inactivity), the bar&grill that I manage in on a university campus. From what I've heard, we are the only bar that is actually on the campus of any of the seventeen schools in the University of North Carolina system. Thousands of students pass by our door every day. Some, but not many, are in wheelchairs. Even more, but still not many, are deaf. Some, but not many are blind.

Yesterday, during a moment of downtime, I observed a blind girl who had wandered WAY off the sidewalk and into our parking lot. She kind of walked around in circles for a little while, then went back in the direction she came from. Then she stopped when she almost ran into an ATM machine and did another 180. She continued to walk, off course, though our parking lot, then ran into the fence that separates our patio from the sidewalk and parking lot. She was using a cane, and using it very badly. I was watching her through a window, just feeling sorry for her, but at the same time thinking "she's almost doing that so badly that it can't be real". Still, I just stood there and watched. I could have easily walked out and at the very least guided her in the right direction if not walked her all the way to her destination. Instead, I just watched. Instead of using this opportunity to do something thoroughly unselfish, I only watched her and thought "wow, I hope she doesn't get hit by a car". Eventually, a couple of people did stop to point her in the right direction, but nobody walked with her. Over the years, I've seen a lot of blind kids walk past, and I've never seen anything quite like the way this girl was struggling just to stay on the sidewalk. I kept thinking that it was too ugly to be real.

But who would do that? Who would pretend to be blind and lost? Unless this was some sociological study intended to prove that people don't help strangers or people with disabilities, the answer is that nobody would do that. This girl really was blind, and she, for whatever reason, couldn't keep herself on the sidewalk. And I watched the whole thing as she hopelessly and helplessly meandered around.

I got sort of an instant karmic payback last night. Not anything huge, but a little nibble on the ass.

Late last night, I had to get something from my car, which was parked on the street. I noticed a small dent in the front left fender. A fresh one. Someone clearly backed into my parked car or in some other way gently hit it. The damage isn't enough to make me go out and get it repaired right away. It's so insignificant that I might never get it repaired. It's not much, but it's an unsightly blemish.

Perhaps coincidence, perhaps a karmic message. I dunno. All I know is that I felt rotten about myself after I had time to reflect upon the situation with the blind girl, and by the end of the day, I had something unfortunate happen to me.


Bill Purdy said...

Definitely makes me glad I didn't unsubscribe from the news feed sub. Welcome back.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't beat yourself up over this. I know at least a facet of who you are and you seem to be a pretty decent person. The fact that you feel so guilty over not helping and being a passive observer is a testament to that. The key is to learn from the past and implement that knowledge in the future.

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