Thursday, August 1, 2013

Karma at Firebirds


Monday night, Pam and I went out to dinner at Firebirds. As we got out of the car and began walking through the parking lot, there on the ground in front of me was a familiar blue-gray colored card. I stopped, took a closer look and confirmed that it was a Wells Fargo debit card. Someone had dropped it and there it was, face up in the middle of a busy parking lot of the largest mall in Richmond. My first reaction was to make some crack, “Looks like dinner is going to be on Anne Smith!” But then Pam and I started to talk about how terrible it was going to feel when this person reached for her debit card only to discover that it wasn’t there. So, once we got settled at our table, my wife went to work surfing the Interwebs and in no time, we had a phone number.

When I got her on the phone and told her that I had found her card, she practically promised to put me in her will, so thrilled was she that there still existed in the world an honest man. She explained that she had given the card to her three sons so they could go get something to eat and they had lost it, and how she would send them to Firebirds right away, and she was just so very thankful that I called. In less than ten minutes her three boys, each over 6’5”, wearing basketball jerseys arrived. Before I gave them the card I asked which one of them was going to be cutting my grass for the rest of the summer. A big laugh was had by all, and they disappeared from my life forever and I went back to dinner at Firebirds.

Here’s where it gets weird. Two days later, I take my filthy car to the carwash, order the works then go to the cashier to pay. No debit card. Immediately, my stomach tied itself in knots and I could feel my blood pressure inching up as I began retracing my steps. When did I last use it, was it at Martins? Didn’t I buy some gas at Circle K yesterday? No, that was Sunday, and I haven’t been to Martins in a while. Maybe I left it at home. I texted Pam. She said it wasn’t at the house. “When did you last use it”, she asked, and in a flash we both remembered Firebirds. I quickly found their number on Google and called. I got put through to the friendliest restaurant manager in the world who said, “Yes, Mr. Dunnevant, we’ve been waiting for you to call. I’ve got your card right here.” What are the odds?

Now, if I were Buddhist, I would understand this to be a textbook example of Karma. But I’m not Buddhist. But it’s still a textbook example of Karma, if I understand the concept correctly which is roughly that what good deeds you do for others eventually will return to you. It’s sort of an Eastern spin on the Golden Rule, an addendum to it that says…”and if you do unto others as you would have them do unto you…it will come back to you”.
I’ll take it