Sunday, October 9, 2016

Good Intentions

Last night I attended a fireside. One of the comments that was made by one of the people in the audience struck me as profound. He said that good intentions were the opposite of courage.

The context was a discussion was how it takes courage to reach out to a spouse who may be critical. It is so much easier to substitute our good intentions that things be better than to actually have the courage to do anything about the problem. We can talk all we want about how we want things to be better, and how it is our intention to be kind and loving, we can even make some half-hearted efforts in that direction, but if we never have the courage to actually do something to demonstrate that, then our good intentions and empty words do not do anything.

Of course having the courage to demonstrate love can be taken as being offensive (and often is), and it is thus safer to retreat to the cowardice of good intentions.

In this context the old saying about how the road to hell is paved with good intentions takes on some interesting nuances.