The Karma Chameleon

This just in: let’s pretend that science has proven that karma is a thing. Your words and actions will influence what happens to you in the future. How (if at all) will you change your ways?

Just this morning I was watching an episode of Parenthood (S3Ep8- “In-Between”) and Kristina Braverman, who had been worrying herself sick about her son Max’s social skills and the other kids at school- Max has aspergers (a high functioning form of autism)-, saw that some boys at school were asking Max math questions just to make fun of the way he worked through the problems (he would make a lot of hand gestures and worked through the math out loud). This immediately made Kristina angry but she wasn’t sure how she could deal with the problem. What made it harder for her was that Max didn’t even seem to be aware that he was being made fun of. So near the end of the episode, after multiple times having witnessed this bullying, she went and talked to the boy who was making fun of her son at school. She mentioned to him who she was and whose mom she was (avoiding stranger danger obviously) and basically told the boy that what he was doing was wrong and that although Max might not realize he was being made fun of, didn’t mean that it was okay to do it. She ended her little speech with “be a friend, not a bully” and then proceeded to run to her car because other teachers witnessed this and she didn’t want to cause more trouble.

I saw this little ordeal as a slight form of good karma or at least a better form of Karma. Even though this boy was being a bully to Max and wanted other people to join him when he teased Max, this kids karma shouldn’t have necessarily been to have other kids make fun of him. It’s not always “what goes around comes around”. Sometimes it’s just “what goes around”. This kid was upset that Max was better at him in math and wanted people to instead see how weird Max was in order to feel better about himself. What Kristina did, talking to the bully and informing him of things he might not have been aware of and not calling his parents, showed this boy more about karma than anything else could have. If Kristina had called his parents, this kid would probably have been even more inclined to make fun of Max because he was mad about getting in trouble. But instead Kristina talked to him on level ground and didn’t act as if she knew better than him simply because she was an adult. This kid was a bully but more bullying doesn’t solve anything. It just perpetuates it. This kid received his Karma in a way that would help him grow instead of make him feel down or make him more angry. He was told what he did wrong and now it is up to him to decide whether or not to make a change from that.

Karma can damage you but it can also cause you to grow. So all I have to say is “be a friend, not a bully” because your Karma could be much worse than this kids Karma.


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13 thoughts on “The Karma Chameleon

  1. As I read this I thought, “If the kid had no sense he was being bullied, WAS he being bullied?” I don’t think so. I wonder, too, if the kid actually became more aware of what he needed to be considerate of, or if he just had a better grasp on how “weird” the boy with Aspergers actually is. I don’t have answers for my own questions. I’m just posing them.

    1. I wondered that as well. A bully usually only finds satisfaction by getting a reaction from the person they are bullying. Although Max wasn’t aware of the bullying his mom sure was. So I think in that sense there was at least the intention of bullying happening. Even if it didn’t directly impact that person being bullied.

      1. Definitely the intent. My mom always used to tell my brother and me to ignore it and the bully wouldn’t get any satisfaction from bullying and he/she would stop. It was nearly impossible to apply that principle. 😉

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