Sorry, Good Intentions Don't Make You A Good Person

Sorry, Good Intentions Don't Make You A Good Person

In a results-based world, what you intend doesn't matter.

In my experience of being a human, I have often heard the phrase, “they have good intentions” being used to describe a nice, unselfish person. However, I will try to explain why good intentions don’t mean a goddamn thing for us Homo sapiens.

Unlike most animals (I’m not exactly a Darwinian), the concept of natural selection doesn’t exactly apply to us. Natural selection, for the purposes of my own argument, equates to the intentions of nature in working toward one goal. This goal, to survive, may be selfish but is more or less always achieved as species continue to grow and adapt to their surroundings.

It can be argued that humans have more intentions than just biological survival, such as emotional satisfaction and spiritual aspirations. This is obviously debatable and I do think it’s quite possible for humans to only care about their own survival. As such, every action performed is done in order to survive. However, there are actions that suggest otherwise, most noticeably suicide, the action of taking one’s own life. It is a direct contradiction to survival. For this reason and some others that I won’t go into, I do believe humans have greater intentions than just surviving.

The point of this spiel was to show that I believe the intentions of humans are generally unknown; it’s practically impossible to know the exact intentions of another person. It is even, to some extent, due to our subconscious, impossible to know your own intentions. For me, the only way to know the intentions of someone is to assume we are like animals and everything we do is to increase our chances of survival.

Therefore, without knowing anyone’s true intentions, I don’t think it’s possible to say they are good or bad. This is the first reason why I think “good intentions” are bogus. But even if we were able to understand the intentions of others, we run into the problem of defining “good," for what might be beneficial to someone may be detrimental to someone else. With this in mind, “good intentions” should imply that your intended actions should benefit someone else.

Alright, so let’s run with this definition that “good intentions” equals trying to help others. The key part here is trying, for intentions are different than results. And my question to you is, does it matter what someone intends if the results are different? No. If you try to help someone but turn out hurting them, you could say you had good intentions, but the net result is still negative.

You can see I have a problem with judging someone based on their intentions rather than their results. For example, there might be some people in Congress who believe the bills they’re passing are helpful to the American people. Yet, if they turn out not to help Americans, then their good intentions are all for naught.

Good can only come from results, not intentions. It also doesn’t help that we can hardly decide what our intentions are, especially when so many actions seem to contradict the well-being of others and ourselves. I don’t care what your intentions are. If you truly help others, then you are a good person.

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Re-evaluating Your Decisions

It's time to take a step back and reflect on what matters

For a few months, I have been absent from writing on the Odyssey but have finally decided to end my hiatus. This past semester has thrown a lot of curve balls my way and I have changed my mind more than I ever have before. I usually describe myself as a "safety net" type of person. If my life does not have structure, I tend to shut down. Many difficult choices came my way and I had to choose what was worth sacrificing. This forced me to reflect the fact that life is unexpected and sometimes it is okay to take a pause to assess your situation. I felt as though I was loosing who I was as a person. Things that used to make me happy started to stress me out. Yet, time heals all wounds and I surely, but slowly am grounding myself again.

One valuable lesson I have learned during this chaotic journey is to take the days as they come. Of course it helps to plan ahead, but we cannot always be certain that there is a future. Additionally, never take your talents for granted. Even when your self worth is diminished, stay hopeful that the best is yet to come.

When all hell breaks loose, emerge yourself in hobbies you are passionate about and spend time with positive people. All of these things can take your gray days and make them shine brighter. Just repeat to yourself that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes our seemingly small plans fall into a greater scheme. No matter how wonky life gets, even so crazy it feels like a bad joke: Keep. Pushing. Forward. You are not a quitter, you are a fighter. Ultimately, you will learn what true strength is. It resides in each and every one of us, without a doubt.

So thank you to my friends and family that always believed and had faith in both me and my abilities. Thank you to theatre for giving me a stage to break away and be someone else for a change. Thank you to sunsets for allowing me a blank canvas each day. Lastly, thank you Odyssey for giving me an outlet to express my grief and hardships. Without this darkness that occur, I would have never been able to see the brightness all around me. I am getting back on track with my life and am more determined than ever to be superior. Also, I am done holding back and staying quite when I was meant to be bold. I am worth expressing myself and no part of me is worth staying a secret.

"It's being here now that's important. There's no past and there's no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can't relive it; and we can hope for the future but we don't know if there is one." -George Harrison

Cover Image Credit: Kian Krashesky

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So It Goes.

Therapy, 2018 and my first EMDR experience

So it goes. Here is the first post of the new year and a million and a half ideas come floating to the surface. What do I write about to set this year off on the right foot? Perhaps I should start with the biggest change and improvement I've already initiated in 2018; going to weekly therapy, or maybe I'll discuss the hundreds of short-comings I'm already battling, the intense urge to move, the conflict of finding myself vs being with others, the desire to be more open and loving, the anger I suppress when things become too frustrating. I guess we'll start with square one; therapy.

Therapy, according to Webster, is the treatment, especially of a bodily, mental, or behavioral disorder. Well, I guess I'm in therapy...again. This time hopefully for good. Something tells me I should refrain from releasing my therapist's name or any specific details but I think this should be an open note...about...therapy.

I am moving towards a treatment known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR for short. It is a terrifying but liberating process of having a professional recite a troubling memory to you; stating the event, the feeling you associate with it, where you feel it and how you reacted as you sit with eyes closed but moving left to right. Let's just say I've had my first taste of it during my last session and it was...intense.

I mentioned it in a previous post, the idea of Samskaras, blockages that we hold onto and that can keep us from feeling current energy and emotion in our day-to-day life. It seems that EMDR is the practice of finding and breaking down these Samskaras. It is terrifying. It will leave you exhausted and teary-eyed but it is necessary if you want to live without feeling bound to the past. I found the idea of scanning and evalutating these experiences very interesting and appealing although, I also see them as very intimidating. Regardless of where you are, I can say that it seems the past is not always something you can just "let go" of.

So, I think for my first post I would like to share the memory I chose for my first EMDR experience:

You are in Helen, Georgia celebrating your fourteenth birthday. You are gaining weight from your lowest point of 96 lbs. You don't know why this is happening. You are breaking down. You feel; scared, disgusted, despaired, angry and betrayed. You think; "I can't let this happen, I am out of control, my body hates me." You feel it in your face, thighs, and stomach.

Then the therapist asks, "what is the intensity?"

Under sobs, you answer...."at least a nine."

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