Heading home on the train after a long day at work, Emeka relaxes to the tunes on his music playlist. His eyes were slightly closed as his head swayed gently back and forth to the sounds from his headphones. As the train slowly came to a stop at the next station Anthony, who stood between Emeka and the exit doors, swiftly grabbed Emeka’s headphones and ran as fast as he could into the night.
Emeka quickly overcame his shock and pursued the thief. He had just purchased the expensive Beats by Dre Studio Wireless headphones last month after three months of saving towards it. He ran after Anthony with all his strength but could not catch up to him.
Two months later, Emeka spotted a young man on the street wearing what looked like his stolen headphones. Upon closer inspection, the young man had the same blue sneakers as the man who stole his headphones. Emeka and his friend ran up to the unsuspecting stranger and took the headphones back but not before knocking him to the ground.
An elderly woman cleaning her windows witnessed the event and quickly called the police. She told them everything she saw describing Anthony as the unfortunate victim of two thugs who beat him up and stole his headphones.
“We regard it as just when good is rewarded with good and evil is punished but expect the relationship between cause and effect to be discernible to us. Where the connection is lacking, an occurrence appears to be unjust.”* Only the man who is privy to the threads of karma linked to Emeka and Anthony can judge rightly. Keep in mind that these threads often date back decades, scores, perhaps even incarnations.
As stated by Dr. Richard Steinpach in his book How Can God Allow Such Things? “In all events, our inability to see the connection between cause and effect merely proves the inadequacy of our ability to judge and not the absence of justice.” This does not support abandoning a struggling neighbor to his earned fate but that help be offered without presumption for we are ignorant of the preceding events which brought forth the effects.
*Dr. Richard Steinpach