I am a believer in karma. I have seen how my actions in one time and place come back to influence what happens in another point in my life. The linkage is tangible, haunting, and difficult to deny. As I observe others around me, I can see karma playing out in their lives as well.
I know others hold a different viewpoint. They suggest there is no link between our actions at one time in our life and any point going forward. Our paths are linear and one-way. There are two counter-points I would offer to this view.
First, history shows that for some individuals, their life had a “last straw. God had had enough of Herod's arrogance and sent an angel to strike him down. Herod had given God no credit for anything. Down he went. Rotten to the core, a maggoty old man if there ever was one, he died.” (Acts 12.23) Divinity struck in response to the sum of one man’s actions. Karma shortened Herod’s life.
Secondly, others experience the immediate touch of life immediately around you and me. Metaphorically, we are never alone. Our lives touch other people, carrying with them the essence of our attitude and approach to life. This essence is a distillation of our actions, the truth of what we have done. There is no right or wrong to them, however they are on a point between good and evil. When our karma is filled with good, people sense the truthfulness of our journey and are energized by it. When it is filled with evil (often described as a self centric obsession), people know that they need to be careful and defensive.
There is more to karma than our past. In the present, we have an opportunity to write a new story. We are free to embrace compassion. We can choose love. We can make a difference. The present holds this window for each. Within us, freedom gives us the opportunity. Our karma can be more than what it was. It can be filled with our dreams and ideals.