Karma Generator

A middle-aged man struggled to slide the heavy door open and behind him a line of people were piling up, waiting to get onto the train. He hauled the door open and stepped through, passing the job of holding the door onto the person behind him: a young lady chatting on her phone. The young lady passed the job onto an elderly man, who passed it onto a middle-aged woman, who passed it onto a young man.

The train door was designed to close itself, but if pushed just a little further the door would catch on a latch and stay open. All of the people getting on the train were regular commuters and I was certain they knew how the door worked, so I was puzzled that nobody put in the extra effort.

That's when I saw a young man in his late twenties come through the door. Instead of holding it for the person behind him, he pushed the door just a little further and propped it open.

As dozens of people walked in, I realized that although they were all oblivious to what the young man had done, his extra effort was still having an affect on each and every one of them. It was the gift that kept on giving, a generator for good karma.

When you lend a helping hand, aim to do more than hold the door: prop it open. When you do your work or create your art, do more than enough. Those who follow may not notice your extra effort, but like a magic pot of gold that keeps on giving, the fruits of your labor will be magnified by each person that your work empowers.

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  1. Often, we are not fully present in the moment and thus don’t observe even on a practical level on the world around us works. That robs us of these special opportunities for make an extra effort and the generation of good karma.

    A sweet gem, thanks!

    • You’re right, Sandra: When we’re not present in the moment, even the practical lessons, the ones that are right in front of us, can pass by unobserved. By recognizing the potential of being present and putting in the extra effort where it’s needed, we’re able to make use of all that potential and allow it to reverberate into the future. 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Amy. 🙂 I find that when I take time to analyze my routines and my habits, I discover where laziness is robbing me of sharing more with others.

  2. Wow Raam. This story is just a perfect little nugget to get the creative juices flowing on how I can personally make a true difference with something as simple as “propping the door”. I almost feel as if that could be a slang term for creating that magical pot of gold as simply “proppin the door” for others. Beautiful words brother. Just beautiful.


    • Thanks, Patrick! These little nuggets are occurring around us all the time… we just need to pause and take a moment to notice and learn from them. 🙂

  3. There is of course the possibility that all those earlier people who held the door for the next person were subconsciously needing to reach out and touch another individual by way of holding the door. And if that very first person had latched the door open… all those people would have been denied the opportunity to play their part!

    It’s only another way of looking at it… but it’s interesting isn’t it? How life plays out. And people react. This is a lovely metaphor for kindness Raam. I’m glad you’re in the world and noticing these things… [and sharing them here with us all] Thank you.

    • Jean, thank you for providing that alternative perspective — that’s what I love about having an area to share comments on each post (and why I’ll never close my comments entirely). 🙂

      You’re absolutely right that sometimes we need the individual interactions, the passing of energy from one person onto another. When we’re being selfish, I think that is rarely even a consideration, but when we’re being selfless, it happens instinctively and automatically.

  4. *click*

    A little muscle or mind can have a lasting impact.

    Loved this post enough to click through to comment 🙂


    (Sorry couldn’t catch you in MA this year. I’m currently enjoying your blog with a view south toward Boston).

  5. Loved the article but one point stands out to me. The idea of a karma generator or the idea that one can accrue positive karma shouldn’t be. Karma only refers to negative karma and what one does is try to limit and reverse this. This doesn’t mean there is a positive karma side, it just means one is reversing negative karma that he / she has accumulated. The idea of positive karma tends to create a feeling of credit, then expectation. One should not be trying to accumulate positive karma with the expectation on receiving benefits to that, but one should be lending a helping hand not expecting anything in return but because it feels right to help others and spread love. Love the blog, always brings me to a centered place.


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