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Paved With Good Intentions

October 4, 2020

Our lives consist of intentions and outcomes. We just confuse the two.

It has been a season of reaction. We are Covid-born out of control, so we desperately try to claim it back with politics, judgement and righteousness in our affect and announcements.

The president getting sick is now Devine moral judgement. He is reaping what he has sowed. He is fulfilling Karma. We have gotten what we wished for: Justice.

Or:

He is courageously working and showing his strength. He is a victim of others’ hate and is repaying it with untiring effort from the hospital.

But his intentions (for good or ill) have caused a flood of outcomes that are completely self justified. All of those involved, all of us, are people – the outcome of a creation so complex that we will not be distracted from our outcomes by considering it’s intentions.

What we believe is becoming what we do, without actually doing much of anything at all. Vile and violent Internet anger, hugely silent, fully engrossing, effecting anger, umbrage and glee is enough for more and more of us,

Our lives before the Internet were full on about outcomes. What school. What job. What spouse. What house. What resume.

Virtue signaling in extremis, in the full flowering of social media has made intentions pre-eminent in more lives. Not being a “Racist.” “Socialist.” “Snowflake.” and declaring that others are is justification.

But feeding the poor, comforting the afflicted, protecting the weak are outcomes, not intentions. Wanting to do something or valuing it, is not doing it.

And stupidities in life are not sentences, either. Prior bad acts do do cancel your worth in God’s eyes, or mine, but make you irretrievable in the minds of more and more.

Matasticizibg around Donald Trump, a Human, hatred of those hating him and plain old hating him, fully expresses our righteousness, to a point of extreme happiness at his illness or anger at those happy at his fallen state.

When I reminded folk of the danger of hate by stealing the line “I like presidents who do not get Covid.” in memory of the words used against John McCain being captured in war, those reading it on Facebook launched into hatred and death wishes towards Donald Trump , or were outraged that I had shown hatred toward the President. (Which I did not.)

Intentions are not outcomes, but they become that when thought gives way to reactions. We pave the way away from what we know to what we want. We want control, but we know that we do not have it.

Perhaps that faith in intentions is why faith in God is seen as insufficient for more people. Acknowledging inadequacy without losing your mission and values is a hard task without Faith that something is more important than you, and the you’s everywhere around you that validate, anger, depress or inspire you.

Our intentions are almost meaningless without any outcomes, but the hard fact is that your outcomes lose meaning unless they fulfill your intentions.

Is our intention to be protected, or to be be free, or both? Is our outcome to be loved, or to be able to love, or both? Is our life, limited as it is, about expression or about giving, or both?

Rather that living outcomes or intentions, why not live both?

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