"It is important to remember that karma is about learning, not about punishment. Our parents and the other people with whom we interact possess free will. They can love and help us or they can hate and harm us. Their choice is not your karma. Their choice is a manifestation of their free will. They are also learning.
Sometimes a soul will choose a particularly challenging lifetime in order to accelerate its spiritual progress, or as an act of love to help, guide, and nourish others who are also going through a similarly difficult lifetime. A hard life is not a punishment, but rather an opportunity.
We change races, religions, sex, and economic advantage because we must learn from all sides. We experience everything. Karma is ultimate justice. Nothing is overlooked or missed in our learning."
~ Brian Weiss MD (from the book, ‘Messages from the Masters’)