Wednesday, 2 January 2013
Good intentions; Not so good.
Quite apart from the awesome Intent, it's fucking magic.
There's another reason the notion of good intentions sucks fucking royally.
Because it tends to treated as a "you don't need to apologise, do better or even consider how fucking awful you were" get out of assholery free card by those who use it on the behalf of friends who fuck up. The refrain "but she/he's well intentioned" has becoming the ringing cry of the friend who thinks it's unfair that racist bigot #345775576 got called out so meanly and they should not made to feel as bad because racist bigot #345775576 was well intentioned.
Of course the same people who utter this refrain often think nothing of tearing down someone they don't know. Seriously, I've seen people have a major go at someone for both bigoted assholery and ignorant excuses, then turn around and use the same ignorant excuses to defend a friend's bigoted assholery on the basis that said friend "has good intentions".
Good intentions are worth about as much as a daydream, they're only entertaining and uplifting for the people who have them. Indeed I'd argue that good intentions are fucking way worse, than bad ones when they're undertaken with ignorance. I personally would rather deal with an asshole hater, they're at least easy to dismiss.
In comparison, everytime I've had to deal with "well intentioned" people? I've ended up wanting to reach through my screen and strangle their clueless asses as they irritate me with their "good intentions" which are usually so "good" that listening to me or considering the obvious harm they do never even crosses their mind.
You rarely will educate a "well intentioned" person into being a valued ally because their "good" intentions and inability to think beyond what they think is best for you makes it an almost impossible task.
There is no end of well intentioned people who screw over minorities by not listening and enacting useless and harmful ideas that we counseled against.
There is no end of well intentioned people who blame minorities for our issues to "help" us get better, whether it be castigating the first nations for drinking problems while ignoring the root cause aka racism and broken treaties, or telling women what to wear for "their own protection".
There is no end of well intentioned people who think that it's a great idea to take the children of minorities away from them for their kid's welfare. Whether it's yanking children from loving first nation homes or from disabled parents, people have been well intentioning their way right into ripping families apart for hundreds of years.
If good intentions yielded nothing but good? We wouldn't have the saying that the road to hell is paved with them. Nobody gives a shit about your intentions people because they do nothing constructive, what we care about is your impact on others.
What matters is your ability to listen, to grow, to learn and to be better.