If one is to work with karma and learn by it, then it is very important to choose the right battles. Otherwise one eats time up, perennially fighting the wrong battles. This is the focus of the warrior, choice of battle. The right battle is the battle in which you learn something about yourself and many of these battles are against your own Ego. So very often the face value battle at hand has not a lot to do with that which you need to learn. For example, some simply love to squabble and to engage in such a petty battle has little if any learning attached. Once you start along this track of choice it becomes obvious that most people fight the face value battle and rarely look behind it. There is a lot of flailing about and people miss the point or lose the plot of what is transpiring. They miss the opportunity for learning, time and again. There is a lot of posturing.
There is an assumption, which many have, that the battle they are “fighting” is the same one. If someone has some objective or other, they may assume that this objective is at least partially shared. So, there is a competition for that objective. Many see enemies on all sides and spend a lot of time “fighting” these often-imaginary enemies. Instead of learning to cooperate they fight. Caught up in battle-lust they miss opportunity time and again. There is nothing quite like the perception of attack for occluding the situation and causing more selective perception.
There is no point fighting over something which you do not need. To “win” an argument is an example in case. To disengage is to learn that you do not need to engage, there is no cataclysmic earthquake and the world does not end. This is a case of verbal non-contending. If someone wants to be an asshole, let them, there is no need to join in.
Many of the right battles are to do with letting go of some thing or another. It might be an expectation, some “position” or other you have publicly held, some dogmatic adherence you subscribe to, a relationship; you name it. Letting go reduces attachment, which in the language of battle, is a powerful strategy. People can lay siege to that which you cling to.
Choosing the right battles is all about economy, both in terms of energy and time. Many are wasteful in this respect.
Here are some questions pertaining:
How often do I choose the wrong battle?
Why do I do this?
What am I trying to prove?