I had a fascinating interaction with a seven-and-a-half-year-old the other day. His mother had been teaching the home schooled youngster about karma, and he had replied that he didn’t believe in it. This struck a chord in me because I, too, had held a similar belief not so long ago.

She explained that karma meant patterns in your life where when you did something to someone it came back to you and affected you. The old saying, “What goes around, comes around.”

I thought of the idea of a boomerang and brought this up. Turns out this youngster had a friend who owned an authentic New Zealand boomerang and supposedly knew how to use it. Whenever he threw the boomerang, it did not come back to him. It flew out and landed pouf on the ground somewhere.

“So,” the boy said to me, “no karma. The boomerang doesn’t come back to you.”

His mother promptly said, “How do we work with that?”

I considered this and saw a sort of duality. On the one hand, karma, and with it a kind of fear-creating idea or belief that what you do can come back and get you. On the other hand, the idea of there not being karma felt freeing and much safer to me.

Mentally, I went into no karma meaning that you’re not responsible for what you send out because it doesn’t come back to you, and, the ripples that come off the actions you take or the energy you send off can’t be controlled, interpreted, or followed into infinity. This seemed to me to offer a sort of vesica piscis, an intersect between two views. I liked that.

I said to the boy that I could understand how he thought, that I myself liked to look at the two sides of things and see both, allow both.

But addressing his mother’s question in a way that might have meaning for him, I began–off the cuff–with the idea of energy and how even though we can’t see it, the boy’s energy shot the boomerang out and even though it didn’t come back to him like in a ricochet action, there was an energetic connection of some sort and so that which he sent out he was responsible for.

He didn’t get it.

Earlier he had hurt his little sister. When I asked him why he had done it, he refused to answer. I explained that being a children’s writer, I often use real children in my stories. His reason for hurting his sister could help me create a character who had the same reason for doing something in a story.

This engaged him. He said he did it for revenge. (This, from a seven-year-old quite blew me away, so if you’re seven and you think and use words like this, you could make a comment below and quite blow me away).

I considered what he said, and from revenge saw the link to hurt. He wanted to hurt his sister. The why of it didn’t seem important.

I told the boy, “You’re a JEDI Master. It’s like you sent the light from your light saber out to hurt your sister, but because you’re still holding the light saber, what you sent out came back to hurt you.”

“How?” he asked, a bit gruff and ticked off.

“You got in trouble with your mother, didn’t you? You hurt your sister and that got you in trouble.”

His face remained blank but I felt the energy in the room shift. He told me about a light saber he had made with leggos and ran off to retrieve it to show it to me. I had been a stranger before. Now, I had become Obi Wan Kenobe, friend.

What do you think about what I’ve discussed here?

Parents, kids, teachers, let’s get a discussion going. Comments are welcomed on POFFF.COM

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“Struggle and joy are not on the same channel. You joy your way to joy. You laugh your way to success. It is through your joy that good things come.”
–from Abraham