Social Karma

Karmic justice is often used as an expression of one "getting what they deserve" or "reaping what they sow." More often than not, the phrase is used when one person feels wronged by another and hopes for some sort of vengeance. While understandable how this mentality has proliferated common thought, it is a misguided interpretation at best. Karma is an elegant idea, and is perhaps best summarized in the following excerpt:

The Pali term Karma literally means action or doing. Any kind of intentional action whether mental, verbal, or physical, is regarded as Karma. It covers all that is included in the phrase "thought, word and deed". Generally speaking, all good and bad action constitutes Karma. In its ultimate sense Karma means all moral and immoral volition. Involuntary, unintentional or unconscious actions, though technically deeds, do not constitute Karma, because volition, the most important factor in determining Karma, is absent. (source - - Removed direct link due to being flagged for malware by Google.)

This leads to the principle of "social karma," and applies to every interaction between people. While it may seem a bit redundant, the focus for this concept lies in the realm of social interaction, and not other deeds, thoughts, or actions that apply only to the self. This ties in with the previously posted concept of social reciprocity, but takes it a step further. In essence, the idea is to create a space that welcomes others, whether virtual or physical, and conveys the moral and ethical mindset and ideals of the creator of said space.

The challenge becomes simplistic at this point: do you convey an attitude of "people get what they deserve" in your sphere of influence, or do you convey the attitude of "this is how I want the world to be, and so this is how express myself?" In other words, do you look for others to seek you out and join in your endeavors because of your statements and actions, or do you simply state that others will reap the consequences of their statements and actions?

This approach is the way I have attempted to grow a community around each iteration of weblog that I have created. Up until now it has been quite successful. With Renegade Noble I am starting to see an upward trend in people who view the site, but I still haven't broken that magical barrier of silence from most visitors. Honestly, I'm not sure if it is really feasible to create that conversational atmosphere here, but I will not stop trying. It may be that the assorted topics here are too diverse, or that I simply have not hit upon that one topic that really draws someone in to comment. It may be that those who do visit simply read and go about their day, uninterested in the concept of conversation through a blog interface. Regardless of the root cause, I still adhere to the concept described above: I will continue to create a place wherein the expression of ideas, the discussion of topics, and the overall feeling of being able to freely converse is maintained.

I would like to request some feedback as well, especially in an effort to try to break that magical silence:

  • What draws you to Renegade Noble?
  • What topics interest you?
  • What makes you take the time to comment on something?
  • Is the site easy to navigate, and can you find what you are looking for?
  • Is there anything else you would like to say?

Feel free to comment here, or email me, or seek me out on Twitter... all of the assorted ways to contact me can be found at the top and bottom of the site, and hopefully are showing up properly in the RSS feed.