The word karma and the concept of it are often misused and misunderstood. Essentially, karma means action. In Buddhism, there are three components to karma: mental karma is created by the mind and thoughts, verbal karma is created by speech, and bodily karma is created by physical actions. Of course there is both positive and negative karma. Karma is also often thought of as cause and effect, which makes sense. Each and every thought and action we carry out has consequences. Karma is often linked to reincarnation. Personally, I believe in reincarnation and the thought that actions we carry out in this life will follow us to the next. But it's not like if you do bad things, you'll come back as a worm (or undesirable creature of your choice). What karma is really about is intentions and suffering. If you intentionally inflict suffering on others, you will endure that suffering in your next lives. If you act with good intention, then you are putting more positive energy into the universe, of which you will reap the benefits. I was recently listening to a Deepak Chopra audio book and he gave what he called his Golden Rule, "Feel about others as you would have others feel about you". That's really something to think about, isn't it? I can be nice to people but that doesn't always mean I'm feeling positive about them or that I like them. I've been reflecting on this "rule" a lot lately. It goes along with a quote I love from another book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. My favorite of her personal resolutions is "Act the way you want to feel". I've tried it out for various lengths of time and it really works. So it's led me to believe that if I'm acting positive and thinking kindly of others, pretty soon I won't be acting, but being and feeling good all on my own.