Is Karma Actually Coming for Any of Us?

Published on 6/3/2024

"Karma's a bitch," JoJo Siwa sang over all of our TikTok feeds just weeks ago. At the time, everyone was focused on various aspects of this performance and song. I’m not hear to roast her, as the internet has done enough of that. Instead I want to discuss karma, and whether this 20-year-old “creator of gay pop” was right. Is karma actually coming for those who wronged us?

To rip off the bandaid: nope, not in my opinion. I don't believe in karma anymore, at least not the kind that JoJo and pop culture have peddled to us. I don't believe that bad people can expect bad things.

Why don’t I believe in karma?

Firstly, because there are no bad people. There are just people who have done things, who might also do good things. Your villain is not only the hero in their own story, but in other people's stories as well. I’m not saying you’re their villain, you might not even be a character. I’m sorry to say that you might not even matter to them. Even if you do, they don’t see themselves as the ‘bad person’ that you do.

Secondly, because life is rather shit for us all, no matter what we do. Good people get sick, lose people, and miss out on opportunities, just as much as the 'bad'. Bad things aren’t reserved for those who do shitty things, as it’s just a game of chance. They might always succeed in life, get promotions, enter great relationships, and everything else. Life isn’t as fair as we’d like it to be, and that means it’s also not unfair when we want it to be.

It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me

After a relationship ends poorly, we often want that person to know how much they hurt us. We need them to know that they did bad things. But they won't know that. You can send them essays over WhatsApp, you can meet for 'closure', and you can tell every mutual friend in the hopes that they pass on the message, but they will never truly hear it and take it to heart. You could sit that person down and make them read an eighteen-page letter (front and back, a la Rachel in Friends), and they will still not hear it. They will continue to see it from their own side of things. Instead, you’ve spent hours crafting this eighteen-page letter (front and back). You’ve given them more time and energy, and for what?

Because each of us is the centre of our own story, I recently saw a TikTok that if the worst person you know went to therapy, their therapist would likely tell them they need to set boundaries and not be such people-pleasers, just like yours is, just like mine is.

The people who hurt us will likely never truly grasp it and may have a happy life with little hurdles along the way. They will see the story through their own lens, as they don't have the glasses to see it through your experience and feelings.

We like to think that one day they’ll get it, but you know what, they probably won’t. And that has to be okay. We’ve got to just accept that we will never truly be understood in what happened, they will never walk a mile in our shoes.

The other type of karma

So karma’s a bitch, and I’m not really bothering with her. But I toy with the other type of karma, the one that Taylor Swift sings about in her song, “Karma”. Sorry, I couldn’t make it through a whole article without mentioning her!

“Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend

Karma's a relaxing thought

Aren't you envious that for you it's not?

Sweet like honey, karma is a cat

Purring in my lap 'cause it loves me” - Karma by Taylor Swift

Maybe karma is the good we reap through our positive actions. It is the ramifications of caring for ourselves and others. It's the mental space provided by the boundaries we set, the friends who stick by you through thick and thin, and the joy on holidays you saved up for. Karma is everything you can create for yourself, but don’t expect it to impact other people. All you can do is focus on your own lane and craft a life you actually enjoy living.

Do good in the world, not in the hopes that others get the bad, but to stand behind your decisions. Maybe we should be less concerned with other people's karma, and instead try to earn our own. Bad things will still happen to you, they’ll happen to us all unequally, but hopefully, good things will follow the darker moments.

Looking for more bleak outlook? Check out why wisdom and pessimism are starting to feel like the same thing to me, and signs my mental health is bad.



Welcome to Symptoms of Living! A place where I like to relieve myself of the barrage of thoughts and ideas filling my mind. Here I'll take a look at various topics, from books to BPD, series to self-harm, there's nothing that we can't, and shouldn't, talk about.

Having struggled with mental illness since the age of 15, one of the hardest parts was how alone I felt in it. While mental illness is beginning to be discussed more openly, and featured in the media, I still think there is room for improvement. So whether it is mental illness or merely mental health, a bad day or a bad year, let's make this a place to approach it and strip it back. Everyone has their own symptoms of living, and you certainly won't be the only one with it.

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