Instant Karma: The Dropping of the Other Shoe

We’ve all lived through it: the moment when we are instantly repaid for mischief. The moment a step in the wrong direction (usually intentionally) is met with an unwanted, though likely warranted, cosmic payback. Yep, you guessed it:

Instant karma.

My oldest son stumbled upon this concept at school today. The lesson was swift, and unmistakeable. While trying to “flat tire” a friend (i.e. step on his friend’s shoe so that his heel came out of it), he broke his own ankle.

Ouch!

As we sat in the doctor’s office waiting for the results of the x-ray, he thought about the events leading up to his current condition and ruefully called it “instant karma.” When he texted his friend a picture of his prize – an inglorious boot –  his friend and fellow seventh grader at first said “oh I’m so sorry!” but then agreed about the instant karma saying, “yep, I guess you’re right!”

Lesson learned?

We’ll see. But one thing is for sure: there is a pesky, yet immutable relationship between cause and effect. Sometimes that relationship is immediate and hard to miss, while at others the gap between cause and effect makes the connection less obvious. Unfortunately, ignorance of this fundamental law does not exempt one from its precise action.

The other shoe will drop.

You may, of course, repent of your actions either before or after what goes around comes around and – make no bones about it – this may lessen the severity of the lesson. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you have stepped in it or put your foot in your mouth, there will be repercussions and these, my dear readers, are best met with humility, honesty and grace.

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Self-Righteousness

Self-righteousness — the state of being which is produced and sustained by placing opinions about facts above the acknowledgment of truth — lies at the root of most human misery.

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A Man’s Stature

A man’s stature is neither found in his will to steel himself against his enemies nor in his ability to steal the limelight from others, rather, it is established in the scope and depth of his willingness to be a blessing.

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Views from Above – Part XII

“For pilots sometimes see behind the curtain, behind the veil of gossamer velvet, and find the truth behind man, the force behind a universe.” — Richard Bach, Biplane, 1966

To know the truth of another is to look past limitation, hesitation, unwillingness, fear, and inflated ego. The eyes of truth penetrate unreality, and see past the false fronts of insecurity, inferiority, vanity, and conceit. In truth, we find reality.

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*Photos taken by Gregg Hake with in a Piper Saratoga TCII with an Apple iPhone 3GS over Long Island, NY

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Views from Above – Part XI

“When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with all other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.” — John Muir, Travels in Alaska, 1915

We are blessed to live on a beautiful planet. Its many faces astound and delight, and kindlier nature never ceases to impress those whose hearts remain supple through forgiveness, compassion, and thanksgiving. I remember the overwhelming feeling of gratitude I had while flying to Mackinac Island in northern Michigan on a sunny day in June. I was overflowing with appreciation for the privilege of flying, for the many visual gifts I had received that day, for the satisfaction of good conversation, and for the simple fact of living on earth in this time.

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*Photos taken by Gregg Hake over northern Michigan in a Piper Saratoga TCII with an Apple iPhone 3GS

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The World from Above – Part X

“I may be flying a complicated airplane, rushing through space, but in this cabin I’m surrounded by simplicity and thoughts set free of time. How detached the intimate things around me seem from the great world down below. How strange is this combination of proximity and separation. That ground — seconds away — thousands of miles away. This air, stirring mildly around me. That air, rushing by with the speed of a tornado, an inch beyond. These minute details in my cockpit. The grandeur of the world outside. The nearness of death. The longness of life.” — Charles A. Lindbergh, ‘The Spirit of St. Louis.’

We live in a world that is replete with apparent contradictions. The uncertainty introduced by these dialectic structures can foster paralysis if they are not properly handled.

Perhaps you’ve had the dream or dreaming sensation of shrinking in relation to the world around you. No matter how small you become, you are still an integral part of the infinite universe, just as atoms or quarks are inextricably connected to the fabric of the cosmos. Or maybe you’ve dreamed of being able to fly. No matter how high or fast you go, that flight is only meaningful because of your relationship to that which surrounds you, above and below, and because of the opposing forces at work in relation to flight (i.e. lift, gravity, drag, thrust). These dreams are typically an exaggerated sensation of the world’s contradictions, but I’ve often thought that they provide a unique portal into the understanding of truth.

In fact, the contradictions we perceive are often the starting point for understanding truth, if they are properly considered. Reacting to contradictions and the cloud of uncertainty never helps; reacting to uncertainty rather than from a reasoned starting point in truth is frenzy. The comprehensive mind analyzes this uncertainty and draws conclusions which are grounded in truth and allow for forward, and in fact, upward movement, rather than paralysis.

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*Photos of Niagara Falls taken by Gregg Hake in a Piper Saratoga TCII with an Apple iPhone 3GS.

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