Cornerstone Magazine Spring 2014 - Page 4

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR THE ILLUSION OF BEING GOOD Most of the people I know are genuine and good people. How do I know this? I know this because people like to talk about what they want, what they hope to do, and why they do what they do. Simply put, we often like to talk about our intentions. Not only that, we want to be judged by our good intentions. Don’t you ever wonder why it’s so difficult for us to apologize for our mistakes when we try so hard to do well, let alone cause no harm? This is because when we mess up, we want our intentions to count for more than the results of our words and actions. Yet, judging based on most people’s intentions, I can confidently say that most of the people I know have good in their hearts and mean well. After all, how often do you hear someone say that they go to school so that they can one day make millions of dollars while exploiting third world countries? Or that they want to become a doctor so that they can profit off the sick? Or become a politician so that they can someday run for office and acquire power and wealth rather than listening to the concerns of the public? Or even that the only reason they do nice things for others is so that others can return the favor? There are many reasons why people don’t say these things, but the point is that for many, these sentiments don’t reflect their true intentions. No, the people I know want to make money so that they can use it for good, become doctors so that they can heal the sick, become politicians so that they can change this country for the better, and be kind to one another because it’s the right thing to do. Money, power, influence, and even a good reputation are byproducts, secondary to good intents, as they should be, right? I’d like to make the distinction that intentions are not the same as actions, consequences, or experiences. This means that just because you have the heart to do good, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have actually accomplished good or that you get a free pass when you’ve mistakenly done more harm. We encounter these scenarios every day, whether through advice or rules from parents, expressed concerns or discouragements from friends, or belittlements or warnings from teachers or mentors. We’ve all been discouraged, unsupported, or even stopped from following through with our own plans or goals because of the people around us and their intents to protect us, guide us, or teach us from their experiences. And it’s usually because they love us. A recent example in which good intentions did not follow through was the #CancelColbert incident. On March 26, 2014, Colbert aired a segment on Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s attempts to placate Native Americans by creating a foundation to help them, rather than actually doing anything to change the n