With Intent

The same acts or the same words can have radically different effects, depending on their place and timing, and especially on motivation. I learned long ago that when anyone seemed to condescend or demean me in some way, I ought to take care before I assumed the worst. Before I assumed a meaning in the moment that might have no reality at all.

How does anyone learn such things? Nearly always, by making mistakes themselves. I could never begin to count the times when a thing I said lightly or jokingly was taken as a slight or a thing I did casually, without a thought, had entirely unwanted and unforeseen consequences not just for me but for others, too.

Yet I have not learned so well that I don’t continue to kick up dust with my clumsy mistakes and thoughtless remarks. My only hope is that the rest of the world can be far less foolish and thin-skinned than I, and that the day can come when I will focus my speech and deeds  with such intent that they will build up rather than tear down, heal instead of harm, and encourage and support but not offend.

It is, in fact, my intent to improve with age, in what I say and do. And in giving others credit for trying, too, to do their best. Even if we all slip up from time to time. And we will.

digital illustration

We are the ultimate explosives. Human beings? Mushroom clowns.

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