Sharon Stone has become a bit of a Karma Chameleon, and apologized for her statement that the earthquake was China's Karma coming back to haunt them.
She said, "Due to my inappropriate words and acts during the interview, I feel deeply sorry and sad about hurting Chinese people." She's been removed from Dior ads in China following the incident.
Karma is an important concept for Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs — but what is it exactly? The word translated simply means "action". The doctrine of karma developed and taugh by the Buddha, a spiritual teacher thought to have lived about 2,500 years ago. It simply means, whatever comes into existence does so in response to the conditions at the time, and in turn affects what comes after it. How was Sharon Stone wrong? To find out, read more.
One teacher at the London Buddhist Centre, says that Stone's take on karma is misguidedly common. Her statement was incorrect, pegging an outcome the result of something done in the past, or a past life. The law of karma says the motive behind one's actions actually affects the outcome of that particular act. According to the teacher:
So an intentionally ethical action - for example to promote kindness, generosity, contentment — is more likely to have positive, beneficial consequences. An intentionally unethical one - to promote self-aggrandizement or greed — will be more likely to have unhelpful, even harmful consequences. Unhelpful, that is, for the positive well-being of either the doer or the recipient or both.
Stone might have been ignoring the other factors that Buddhists believe cause events — biological factors like viruses, psychological factors like stress, and environmental factors like the weather.
The Buddhist teacher concludes, "The earthquake in China or the cyclone in Burma have much to do with environmental factors," says Dhammadassin. "To invoke karma is more to do with our desire to nail things down and find someone to blame. But that's not ours to do."
Was her apology enough? Do people in the spotlight have a greater responsibility to understand concepts they speak about publicly?