Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of good intent. As a general rule, we enter situations and relationships with the best intentions. We want to grow or have fun or learn or bond. Rarely (I hope) do we enter into something with the aim of damaging ourselves or others. And while this is important and necessary, having good intentions does not excuse us from the outcome of our actions. Sometimes we move forward with positive focus and intent and end up hurt or hurting someone. It’s rarely on purpose but it still happens. And, intentions aside, responsibility must be taken there.
So often we hear “I never meant to hurt them” or “I would never put you at risk.” Of course you feel that way. Of course you had the best intentions. If you had bad ones, then you suck and that’s a whole other conversation. But of course you didn’t waltz in and decide to wreak havoc. You made the best decisions you could at the time and sometimes that ends up hurting in the long run. But your intentions aren’t the point. The outcome is the endgame.
We’re all afraid. And, as humans, we’re all just a huge source of emotional and intellectual liability to one another. All relationships have the potential to hurt and harm because they also have the potential to grow and nourish. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and it is important to move forward even though we’re a little scared of what someone else might do to us.
Good intentions are good. But, as always, actions speak far louder and your motives do not excuse you from the consequences of your behaviour. Continue to strive to do good and continue to take a good hard look at the outcome.
I don’t care that you didn’t mean to and, quite frankly, after a while I don’t really care that you’re sorry. You did anyway. That’s the issue.
“Good Intent” – Kimbra