'Karma' is a Sanskrit word meaning 'act', 'action', or 'word'. The law of karma teaches us that all of our thoughts, words and actions begin a chain of cause and effect, and that we will personally experience the effects of everything we cause. We may not experience the effect (the returning karma) right away, but you can count on it happening. Karma is a cosmic, immutable law, which means that it applies to everyone, everywhere, all the time. Ralph Waldo Emerson had much to say about this law, and in fact he describes the law of cause and effect as the law of laws.
In a narrower sense, Karma is a theological concept found in the Buddhist and Hindu religions. It is the idea that how you live your life will determine the quality of life you will have after reincarnation. If you are unselfish, kind, and holy during this lifetime, you will be rewarded by being reincarnated (reborn into a new earthly body) into a pleasant life. However, if you live a life of selfishness and evil, you will be reincarnated into a less-than-pleasant lifestyle.
Karma is about getting back "from the universe" what you put into it. So, if you do something good for someone, karma will dictate that something good will happen to you and not directly related to the good act you performed.
Reaping what you sow is very similar and is about the consequences of your actions. If you are kind to someone, they may do something kind to you or to someone else, if you steal, you might go to jail, etc.
What goes around comes around. That’s what they say, but what if your decisions today include thoughts of the past and future? What if what you do today goes on to affect someone else?
In her talk, Joey Bui will describe the journey of karma and why it remains crucial in today's complex world.