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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Nickel

When Do-Gooding Ends Badly, How Do You Cope?

A very dear friend and work buddy of mine is going through a rough patch. A program that she worked hard to fund and develop was hijacked by an overbearing colleague who was once a friend and trusted collaborator. I worked on the project too, and watched the train wreck play out over a few months period of time. Never have I witnessed so much deceit, manipulation and crafty, fraudulent behavior in the workplace. The project is still moving forward, but those of us with scruples exited before the major inevitable damage takes place. We feared that people might get hurt, live in unsafe conditions and catapult a great movement backward 20 years. The entire experience was sad, reckless and I hope to never encounter anything like it again in my career.

With chats over lunch meetings, happy hours and at backyard parties, I have come to realize that this sort of story is quite the norm for many professionals. Almost everyone I have conversed with about this tale had their own equally terrible and recent story to share…some had two and three! SO…I ASK, WHAT IS GOING ON?

In the unpredictable world we live in, I get that this sort of thing happens in politics and I have certainly seen some manipulative behavior play out during holidays at my family’s dinner table, but this rampant, territorial, stab you in the back behavior from trusted colleagues, I just don’t understand.

The processing of this experience caused both my friend and I to have several esoteric discussions about just desserts. We needed to develop new coping skills to successfully avoid our feelings of revenge and rage, and most importantly, we needed help with how to digest, accept and move on to accomplish the good deeds we set out to achieve in the first place.

In our discussions, the concept of karma came up many times. Google says the definition of karma, a noun, is “the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. Informally, it is destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.”

In the next few weeks I will be exploring karma and what it means to us in modern times. I will be delving into the spectrum of karma, the different ways karma has been adapted by our pop culture and the traditional ways karma still has an influence over (some of) us.

I invite you all to tell me about your stories that relate to your feelings and beliefs about karma. I am developing a coping tool that I will pilot; in an attempt to approach a more scientific view and interaction of what many feel is just a spiritual dogma.

If you do not want your story to be viewed by the public, but still want to share, please email me at: Do-Gooders of the world, you have a safe home here!

-Grace Alfiero

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