Many people seem to think of karma in the Hindu sense – the actions you take in this lifetime dictate your position in the next one.
A few people also recognize karma in the Japanese Buddhist sense – the events in our lives are destined and there is no point in complaining too much or celebrating too much.
The Western concept of karma seems to emphasize a tit-for-tat basis – do a nice thing and you’ll get a nice thing in return.
My personal philosophy on karma is about responsibility. Each and every one of us defines the world through our actions. Karma means that every time we do something good, the whole world is a slightly better place. Every time we do something bad, the whole world gets worse. It isn’t about getting a direct reward for good behaviour. It’s about taking personal responsibility for the state of the world.