Just the other night, as the fine folk of the house where I live finished up dinner, a housemate informed me that in the morning he had washed my plate and knife for me after breakfast. I left it on the bench and went straight off to work. Struck nearly dumb with horror, I immediately offered to wash his plate; but patiently explained the following: He had accrued good karma through his actions. If he wanted to cash it in so soon, then a dish for a dish it would be. Of course, there might be an advantage in letting this karma earn some interest, but that really wasn’t up to me.
I let the import of my wise words linger, but within moments I stumbled straight off to bed and didn’t do a single dish. (I think it was the jet lag.)
The next morning, I hung a large load of the dishwasher’s clothes out on the line. To be sure, that is pretty high interest on washing a plate and knife, but it is imperative to follow the dharma. This above all, for the words of a man are like the tusks of an elephant: they can get you killed.*
I was too busy laughing at the morning to notice that it looked like it would rain that day. Luckily, it didn't, and I even brought the clothes in when I got home from work.
The circle is complete. I am the sound of one hand clapping and the tree which falls in the forest for no-one to hear.
My morning smile binds God.
My afternoon smile claims God.
My evening smile manifests God.
from Fortune Philosophy by Sri Chinmoy
*More commonly, it is said that once they come out, they can not go back in again.