DM_Instant Karma.jpgThis photo illustrates rather graphically a point I once made to my stepson, that you should always be nice to people because you never know when you'll meet them again. According to the rules of karma, it may wait until a next life to get back at you if you don't play nice, but these days it often works a little faster than that.

Of course you should always be nice to people. Period. But when you're explaining this concept to a teenager, whose eyes glaze over as you explain the finer points of being a good member of the human race, appealing to their self-interest can help drive the point home.

In this case, my stepson (who, it should be noted, is now much older and wiser) thought it was a good idea to break up with his girlfriend via text message. Exploiting the brevity of the medium, he sent two words to this poor, unsuspecting girl: "You're Dumped."

I tried explaining that this might not have been the most tactful approach. I asked him how he would feel if a girl did the same thing to him. And I offered alternative lines (to be used strictly in person) that would get the message across, but in a much nicer way: You're too good for me. I feel we're growing apart. I'm not sure what I want right now, so don't feel it's fair on you to continue this relationship. Etc.., etc...

Thanks to his teenage years, this appeal to his better nature was met with rolling eyes, so I decided to change tactics. I explained to him that the older you get the more you realize how small the world really is. The friend you shunned at school may turn out to be your new boss, and the girl you dumped by text message may turn out to be the heart surgeon who literally has your life in their hands one day.

Seeing this picture, brought memories of that life lesson back. In this fast paced world, karma doesn't always wait until the next life to bite you in the proverbial ass.

Author's Bio: 

Editor, writer, photographer and conversationalist Nicole Powers believes in working hard and playing hard – preferably simultaneously. When she’s not working hard at having a really, really good time, she tries to make her corner of the world a better, neater place (one stray sock at a time). She strives to live by her personal mantra, you can sleep when you’re dead. She aims to experience as much as she can while she walks on this wonderful earth, and has a passion for sharing the things she’s passionate about. She loves her husband, Al Gore, Michael Moore, Moby, Apple Macs, yoga, modern dance, Vanity Fair, Douglas Adams and John Stewart, hates Wal-Mart, 4X4s, greed and apathy, and thinks Zero 7 make the best music to make love to – which, incidentally, is what we all should be doing instead of waging wars.