Now I don’t really take to the idea of Karmic debt. And what I mean by that statement is that I prefer paying for all the mistakes I've made in this life while I'm still in this life. That way I can leave this rotating sphere we walk on with a clean slate. And with a clean slate, I have a fighting chance of keeping my total debt load from soaring toward infinity over a few dozen lifetimes.
My case in point for today is a lesson that I am learning about what used to be called common courtesy.
I always thought that, for the most part, I practiced thoughtfulness of others. And the meaning of “for the most part” is best imagined, as a percentage that would be viewed as a landslide in politics but definitely not a rout. I know that some of you might be inclined to say, “but that percentage isn’t even a “C” grade in high school, and all of you need to practice thoughtfulness as you continue reading.
Anyway, my false ego reminded me of the concept of common courtesy this morning when I checked my e-mail and found, once again, not a single response to a set of query letters I sent out almost two months ago on my latest book. As a virtually unknown writer, it is not unexpected to be ignored when you send out a blind query. I don’t get upset about that because I consider it to be the same kind of situation as when I ignore a ringing phone from an unknown caller. That agent didn’t ask me to send a query, and I didn’t ask to be called by someone I don’t know: So to me, doing nothing is an okay way to respond.
In this case, however, I sent a series of query letters only to a group of agents that were the subject of an article in Writer’s Digest headlined “25 Agents Seeking New Writers.”
I figured that if they were asking for inputs that at the very least I would get a “thanks but no thanks” e-mail. So getting nothing back brought up some bile as well as thoughts about the lack of common courtesy that I was seeing.
My self-pity-party lasted about six minutes before that voice in my head yelled “You're paying back some of that Karmic debt.” And that annoying, little second-me took me back to my days as a hiring manager when I would bring someone in for an interview and never get back to them.
It was a corporate requirement not to communicate with someone you didn’t plan to hire. The corporation was afraid their managers would say something stupid resulting in a lawsuit, which was unlikely, but not unheard of, so as a manager I never responded to someone who I had asked to come in and talk to me about a job.
The similarity of the situations was not lost in my aging brain, and all I could think of after a few four-letter words scrolled through my mind was, “Payback is Hell.
But then again, it is a lot better than carrying it forward.