About 7 1/2 years ago, my wife felt frustrated that she had not received a promotion she had applied for. Everyone (her coworkers and associates) were surprised when someone else got the job instead of her. She worked for the Department of the Army then, before retiring in 2004. As Buddhists we recognize that sometimes we don’t get what we want–what we think we deserve, for a good reason. As it happens, the job that she applied for was at the Pentagon. The location of the section she applied for was at or near the point of the plane’s impact on 9/11. Several people in the section, including the person who did get the position, died in the attack that day. In Buddhism, we refer to this as protection from the Shoten Zenjin (Buddhist Gods or protective forces of the Universe). Karma is a strange thing, which we cannot fathom or explain completely. It’s what makes some people miss the train that crashes and others rush to get on the Titanic before it sets off from port. I empathize with those who lost loved ones on that day even as I feel great appreciation that my wife didn’t get a promotion that would have killed her.