What’s The Exchange Rate Of Your Karma

Image for post
Image for post
Photo By Doroka Dylka

Craig note- I was thinking about karma.

On Exchanging Money And Your Life


When I arrived in Japan nearly 13 years ago, I got 104 yen (to the USD) when I exchanged my money. It was the first time I held yen in my hands. I remember thinking, “Looks like Monopoly money!”

Funny, the last time I returned to America, I remarked US dollars, “Looks fake.”

There have been several redesigns of US dollars since I have been in Japan.

I came to Japan at 29 years old.

I have written before on the topic, but I was not happy about coming here. To be sure, I was thankful for a job. But, I had no real interest in Japan unless watching “Karate Kid II” counts.

There was a big part of me that wondered, “Why am I not good enough at/in life to make it in America?”

I never came up with an answer for that.

I had been close to getting a life-altering job/career in America. But, there was always something that got in the way. Some surreal events took place to stop my life from moving forward.

Seriously, karma never seemed to be on my side.

Too, this applied to my relationships. Over the years, there were women who I thought might be the “one.” They disagreed.

Some of them really disagreed.

And, again, karma was never on my side.

(Fast forward.)

It’s an amazing thing to now live in Japan. My time here has been fantastic. It has exceeded every expectation and dream I had.

Karma is on my side.

Why is that?

I have never come up with an answer for that either.

It’s not like I magically got any smarter, more talented, or even taller while in Japan. And, I am as hardworking as I ever was in America. But, in every single phase of my life, I now get/have positive results.

Well, I could use more hair, but there are limits to the power of karma.

But, I digress.


Years ago, I had zero money. I was a graduate student. I was hungry. I was staying on campus over the summer break. There was no meal plan. So, I had to fend for myself.

I had no car. Even if I did, I had no gas money.

I scrounge around my graduate dorm room. And, I found some change.





96, 97, 98, 99, 100!

I ran down to the local McDonald’s restaurant to get a hamburger. I showed no shame as a I plunked down my well-earned copper, nickel, and silver treasures on the hard counter.

The girl behind the register was annoyed. Soon, she was visibly angry unhappy when she recounted my loot. There was no doubt I miscounted.

“You are short a penny, sir.”

“A penny!”


I searched my well-worn blue jean pockets. But, there was no penny to be found. I left my change on the counter, and I walked back to my dorm room. I went hungry for three days before my meal plan kicked in for the new semester.

There is no real point to that story. But, sometimes when you are a little short of (insert whatever) in life, you might as well have nothing. But, when you have just a little more of (insert whatever), you are really fortunate.

And, that is something to be thankful for every day, no matter:

“The exchange rate of your karma.”

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

“I believe in karma, and I believe if you put out positive vibes to everybody, that’s all you’re going to get back.”- Kesha

Written by

Craig is a #writer, #editor, #betareader & #blogger. 2000+ #blog posts & seven #ebooks including #shortstories “The Tempo of Tempura” and “Carl Crapper.”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store