If Others Suffer Due out of Negative Karma, Can We Help Them?

We know what it is like to feel miserable, and that is exactly how others feel when they are experiencing the results of their own destructive actions. Out of empathy and compassion, we should definitely help! Though others created the causes to experience their difficulties, maybe they also created the cause to receive help from us! We are all alike in wanting happiness and trying to avoid pain. It does not matter whose pain or problem it is- we should try to relieve it. For example, to think, "The poor are poor because of their own past lives' miserliness. I would be interfering with their karma if I tried to help", is a cruel misconception. We should never rationalise our own laziness, apathy or smugness by misinterpreting cause and effect. Compassion and universal responsibility are important for our own spiritual development and for world peace.

Karma is not inflexibly fixed- it does not mean fate or predetermination. Intentional actions will at some time or other produce their effects under certain conditions. Though people in their present lives are experiencing the effects of their past actions (Karma), it is possible to change or reduce the effects of these past actions through present actions, which affect the immediate future and future lives. Understanding the law of Karma helps one realise that we are whatever we make ourselves to be. Our are entirely responsible for our destiny