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.


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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