William Nothingham is fair, decent, honorable, principled, virtuous, truthful, and above board. Mr. Nothingham is also a product of his environment, background, culture, and ménage. He tries to handle and abide by the influences and factors that are imposed upon him by his family, even though they are not in alignment with his character. William's sincere and genuine self is constantly clashing with his family's traditions, beliefs, customs, and rituals. He wants to be warm and fuzzy. His family wants him to be cold and calculating.
Ideally, if William Nothingham could have things his way, his life, his family, our society, and our world would resemble and mimic the world of insects, specifically a community of ants. We would all be extraordinarily strong, we'd be completely unselfish, and we'd work diligently and tirelessly and behave according to the needs of the entire "colony," functioning as a well-orchestrated single unit.
However, William Nothingham is merely a man, subject to the pressures and effects of other men, both good and bad. He learns that pleasing and being true to his sincere self and attempting to please a not so sincere society is difficult. Doing so can easily lead to one's moral demise and possibly final exit.
Karma also addresses the partial path of black people--people held in bondage for hundreds of years and supposedly freed. The problem is the people had been oppressed and enslaved for so long they had a hard time flipping the script and regrouping. The newly "freed" people felt strange being in charge of themselves. Imagine if we all functioned like the ants that work for the good of everybody. Do we now know that love, respect, and attitude cannot be legislated?