Two women were each baking a cake.
The first woman had miserable ingredients. The old white flour had to have the green mouldy bits removed first. The cholesterol enriched butter was almost going rancid. She had to pick the brown lumps out of the white sugar (because someone had put in a spoon wet with coffee) and the only fruit she had were ancient raisins, as hard as depleted uranium. And her kitchen was of the style called "Pre World War" which World War was a matter of debate.
The second woman had the very best ingredients. The organically grown whole wheat flour was guaranteed GM free. She had trans fat free canola oil spread, raw sugar, and succulent fruit grown in her own garden. And her kitchen was "state of the art" with every modern gadget.
Which woman baked the more delicious cake ?
It is often not the person with the best ingredients who bakes the better cake - there is more to baking a cake than just the ingredients. Sometimes the person with miserable ingredients puts so much effort, care, and love into their baking that their cake comes out the most delicious of all. It is what we do with the ingredients that counts.
I have some friends who have had miserable ingredients to work with in this life; they were born into poverty, possible abused as children, not clever at school, maybe disabled and unable to play sports. But the few qualities they did have they put together so well that they baked a mightily impressive cake. I admire them greatly. Do you recognize such people ?
I have other friends who have had wonderful ingredients to work with in this life. Their families were wealthy and loving, they were successful at school, talented athletes, good looking and popular and yet they wasted their youth lives with drugs and alcohol.
Do you recognized such a one ?
Half of karma is the ingredients we have got to work with. The other half, the most crucial part, is what we make of them in this life.