Our view of the continuum of cause and effect in our and others’ lives is narrow and shallow—and perhaps necessarily so, given our limited momentary perspective. While we do know that there is no effect without a cause, we cannot easily identify where in the continuum of action any particular cause may be found.
The actions that we perform now will produce their specific effects sooner or later, and the seeds of our current experience may have been planted recently or long ago. These karmic seeds only fructify when ancillary conditions favor their expression, just like an acorn requires earth, moisture, and sunlight to sprout.
The continuum of our experience reaches far into the past and will stretch far into the future, until full enlightenment. What is most important now and always is to live this moment with compassion and kindness.