Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

" 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions' is a proverb or aphorism. It is thought to have originated with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who wrote, 'L'enfer est plein de bonnes volontés et désirs' (Hell is full of good intentions or desires).  The meaning of the phrase is that individuals may do bad things even though they intend the results to be good.  When judging intentions, people are more likely to interpret good intentions for their own actions than they are for those of others.  The saying may also explain the behavior of passive-aggressive or controlling individuals who use the excuse of 'good intentions' to intentionally" (yet in a clandestine way) do something harmful to another person.  In this case, it is my opinion, the person's subconscious has taken over reality and they acutally believe  that their actions were not harmful in any way.   It is possible that their state of mind is anger and hurt, which is two sides of the same coin. Most likely this is driving their actions.  

So if you ever had someone hurt you horribly, even though that person didn't intend to, remember we are all sometimes thoughtless and we are all imperfect.  If you ever had someone try to force his/her will upon you because it is "what is best" for you, this shows an "egotistic ferver in which the person can believe their opinions and views are 100% right for everyone (that they know better than the actual person what is good for him/her)" and should not be tolerated.  Lastly, sometimes it just shows a shortcoming in analysis and planning...think before you leap.

I guess the point I am trying to make is after the initial shock wears off, try to analyze the reason for the person's actions.  Try to understand what is driving their behaviour.  This will help you discern the meaning of their actions. Then, with this knowledge make the decision in how you want to handle the transgression.  Set the appropriate boundary between you and the other person.  We all need to set boundaries, not only for our well-being but for the well-being of the other person.  And remember, forgiveness is for your own peace of mind.  It does not mean you condone or accept the other person's actions and behaviour.

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