As a young child I didn’t know what karma was but in our Japanese-American home we knew what “bachi” was. Bachi is a Japanese word that is similar to karma, but relates just to negative actions. In Japanese, they say “bachi ga ataru“, meaning something bad will happen to you if your actions are malicious. So, as children if anyone did something mean to us we would imitate the adults by saying “that’s bachi!” in our Americanized version, to get back at them, hoping to make them feel guilty and scared. I don’t know what a child psychiatrist would think of such actions but that’s what we did. In a way it puts a little fear in a child, teaching them that one’s actions has consequences, like god is watching even though no one may be present at that time. What can be effective in incorporating the idea of bachi to the younger generation is that sometimes they say this karma may not only affect you alone, but could come back to your family. All of a sudden, the responsibility of your actions have a far greater impact than before. For a young mind, this is such a frightening thought that you think twice about how you behave and act toward others.
This may not be a bad thing for today’s society and maybe it can be used as a tool to help teach discipline. Kids are tougher than we are made to believe. They may not understand the concept of karma immediately, but over time its one way to have them think a little deeper on why they do what they do. What do you think?
As for myself, yes I do believe in karma. I think one’s actions may come back to you in this life or even the next and may take many different forms. We reap what we sow is a common Asian belief. Do you believe in karma?