I went to the post office during lunch yesterday (Which is typically an unpleasant experience) and karma happened. I was mailing several packages and had to run out to my car to grab an item I forgot. On my way out, I stopped for a few extra moments to hold the door for a woman headed into the post office, whose arms were full.
On my way back inside, she held the door open for me. "Karma," she said, with a wink.
It was a simple exchange: two strangers holding the door for one another. But she was right: that's how karma works. It's typically not so quickly personified, but it's an important lesson. I believe in karma. The Golden Rule. And everything those ideas encompass.
What I do to you will be done to me. And vice versa. (Oprah says what I've done to you has already been done to me. Chew on that wisdom for a hot minute.)
My mother has always explained it to me like this: everyone gets exactly what they deserve. In this world or the next--but sometimes we have to wait until the next for it to happen.
And there are plenty of interactions I can pinpoint in my life where I had to let go and understand it was a "karma will be delivered in the next world" scenario. Which is tough. Especially when you know there's some POS out there, being jerky to other people the same way they were super jerky to you. We don't easily forget those things.
I like to think of it this way: terrible people will spend their life doing terrible things, which will eventually catch up to them. At some point, they will do the terrible things to you. And it's not your job to deliver punishment or retribution. It's your job to learn the lesson and move on. Just like Oprah says, it's already been done. So, thank them for the experience. Take comfort in in your it's-already-been-done wisdom. And keep on being your bad ass self.
If nothing else, remember that karma works both ways. Being kind to your fellow humans will catch up to you eventually. In this world or the next.