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Karma Cleanser 

Dear Karma Cleanser:
Being a Christian, I don't believe in "karma," because I know that is an idea that the Hindus use. But I do believe in the golden rule, and I do believe that I've made some mistakes regarding its usage.

My friend Nell and I have managed to maintain a friendship like few others I have experienced in life. A few years after high school we both married and both moved to the same suburban neighborhood. We were married, both to men who, thankfully, get along great with each other, often playing golf together. My problem has to do with Nell's husband. I can't stand him. Every time I'm around him I get so full of anger and bitterness that I almost have to leave the room. Nell seems happy in the relationship, though a little bored, and has never told me anything specific to make me hate her husband. I don't think he's cheating on her, though I do firmly think that she could do better. I realize that Jesus calls us to be lights unto the world and love our neighbors, but in this case I really just hate this man and want him out of my -- our -- lives. I'm having a hard time "doing unto others" because I really want him gone. What do I do?-- Hating thy neighbor

As we see it, the golden rule and karma are really just permutations of the same idea: putting good energy into the world. In your case the flow of good energy has gotten clogged by a powerful (and seemingly arbitrary) hairball of hate, and only you know where that came from. But here's how you put the golden rule to good use: If the situation were flipped and your pal Nell absolutely hated your husband, how would you want her to act? Or, does your friendship with Nell outweigh your own random malice toward her partner?

Dear Karma Cleanser:
I recently met a girl, let's call her "Skank Girl." She was one of those stoner chicks that I kinda knew had been around some. We went home together from a bar one night and started to make out, but then I passed out (I'd had a lot to drink). When I woke up, the girl was in the living room eating cereal with my roommate. Later, I found out that they had slept together.

I was pretty pissed about that until a few days later I found out that my roommate had ended up catching crabs from Skank Girl. So really, this letter isn't meant to be a question but more of a warning to your readers: Karma is a bitch. -- Critter sitter

Amen, brother.

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