Monday, February 28, 2011

Strange Karma

This has been a really odd sort of a day. The way chance encounters can work together in unexpected ways can really surprise you sometimes. They don't have to be major events either, just mundane affairs that align themselves in certain ways at certain times that can leave you pondering how interconnected and weirdly coordinated our lives can be.

To start off, I was exhausted this morning, so I decided to ditch my earliest class of the day so I could go back to sleep. This put me walking to school a couple hours later than usual. On my way I met an elderly man named Bob, 85 and barely able to walk, who had set out to reach the bank on foot and realized halfway there that he couldn't make it. I've never been asked to help a senior cross the street before, so I felt a bit like a boyscout, but I resigned myself to being late or possibly even missing a second class of the day (though this one factors attendance into the grade) to help Bob reach his destination. I then waited while he took care of his business so I could help him get back home. When we got back to nearly the same spot I had met him, we ran into somebody he knew who offered to drive him back home. So off he went and I headed toward school again. As I approached the main campus gateway, I looked at the time and saw that I would be about 10-15 minutes late for class, and since I hate walking in late I decided to change course and go get some lunch instead of going to class. As I'm nearing the next intersection I hear "Patrick?" and I look over to see my professor for the class I should currently be sitting in standing on the sidewalk looking at me. Turns out he was detained and was also arriving extremely late to class, so instead of awkwardly entering the room midway through a lecture, I walked with him and arrived "on time" for class. The rest of the day I found myself pondering the peculiar sort of karmic balance of the whole thing. By skipping a class I should have attended I was put in the right place to help an old man who repeatedly asserted "I don't know what I would have done, I never could have made it without you" which not only made me feel good but left me thinking how such a small amount of effort can really make a difference to somebody in the right place and time. And then, as though in cosmic payment for my good deed, somebody else took over getting Bob home and not only was my professor late to class but he was also in the right place to spot me on the street (especially fortunate, since if I had taken the appropriate route when I first decided I was probably going to miss class I would have been on an entirely different street). I realize that this whole thing sounds like I'm making something out of nothing. Maybe I am. Nonetheless, I can't help but reflect on how a simple little thing like hitting the snooze button in the morning can so totally alter the course of the day.

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