Impact over Intent

I was watching some video clip from a social worker discussing impact over intent and how they stress that when it comes to real accountability.

It really got me thinking about how so many abuser apologists and even abusers claim “They/I didn’t MEAN to do that!” and I was reading some FB article about how recently a homeless black man, Jordan Neely, was placed in a chokehold by a former Marine and died.

SO many people in the comments praised this former Marine and said he was a hero for restraining this mentally ill man who was raging about how hungry he was. How he was a menace to society because he had a criminal record.

Was the former marine intending to just restrain Jordan in order to prevent people being hurt? Maybe. Maybe he had the best of intentions. Even if he did, his instincts took him over the edge during the act and he ended up killing the guy.

So do we praise his intention or the actual impact? Just because someone wasn’t intending on hurting you but did anyway, should you just ignore the impact? Society seems to think so….

I recently told someone they need to allow others the consequences of their actions and they didn’t take it well. Kept going on about how the person was a good person blah blah.

Asking for accountability in a world that shames truth, especially when it comes to societal “wrongdoings”, is hard. I experience that within myself and definitely see it out in the world. Someone does one bad thing and – BAM – labeled “BAD”. No, that’s now how I see it at all. Nobody is “BAD” or all “GOOD”. We are composed of both light and dark. We can do “bad” things or go through a “bad” period and get right back up and repair the damage or make it up some other ways. I’m definitely nowhere near perfect. Nobody is.

Scientology punished us for our intents, even when there was NO harmful impact on anyone (think being punished for masturbating and pleasuring oneself or giving your spouse, since they don’t believe in premarital relations in the Sea Org, a blowjob). You started policing your own thoughts. Pre-judging them for “rightness” and “wrongness”.

It’s so sad. Only impact matters. If you thought a bad thing, that’s ok. Hopefully the environment is safe enough around you to talk about it. From there, you could get REAL help. But if punished for just having thoughts, it creates a weird shame vacuum that is a breeding ground for anxiety and weird judging behaviors.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Impact over Intent

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