The consequences of one’s actions

I just finished listening to an audio lecture on the Buddhist teachings of rebirth and karma. To help out. let’s ask Wikipedia for a little help:

Karma means “action” or “doing”; whatever one does, says, or thinks is a karma.

In Buddhism, the term karma is used specifically for those actions which spring from:

* mental intent (Pali: cetana)
* mental obsessions

which bring about a fruit (Pali, phala) or result (vip?ka), either within the present life, or in the context of a future rebirth. Karma is the engine which drives the wheel of the cycle of uncontrolled rebirth (sa?s?ra) for each being.

Source: Karma in Buddhism

Listening through the explanations of karma, something struck me. It would seem to me that the average person on the street, doesn’t put that much effort into considering what sorts of consequences his or her actions, may or may not have. For example, I sometimes hear some people say that even small amounts of generosity and compassion are good things. Is it the busy life that many people live, that make them forget about the small, but important things in life? For example, when go for a walk, something as simple as seeing a cat makes me smile or get me in a better mood on a day that might have gotten off to a rough start.

The idea of thinking about the consequences of one’s own actions, I find quite interesting. I’m generally good with languages, and occasionally I help some friends with some homework, typically in English or Danish. Me using my knowledge to help them gradually widen their own is, when you think deeper about it, not just some small, irrelevant endeavour, but rather an important piece in a large puzzle, even though the individual puzzle brick might be small.
Other things such as kindly greeting people you meet, and generally considering the larger effect of a small action or deed, is something I think many of us would benefit from giving more thought to, even in a busy, city life. Like with portable electrical devices that use multiple batteries, an individual battery can’t power the device alone, but when more are added together, bigger things can be accomplished in terms of electrical energy. Putting positive energy out into your surroundings by doing good things, is quite a concept, even if we’re talking small amounts at a time, because they eventually add up …

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