Means to an Ends

eggonmyfaceThere’s irony afoot in my life. I’m having an issue with a person who cares more for the ends than the means in their work. To get my point across and force the issue to a head, I engaged in some less than ideal conduct. See what I did there?

We justify this sort of thing all the time because of shame mostly. We’re sorry we get emotional or use hurtful words, but then something we want happens afterwards and excuses it in our minds. No one wants to feel bad about their behavior.

In a bigger arena, this means-to-an-ends mindset is modeled politically all the time. I’ve gotten into a fair share of debates about the power of peaceful protest versus the power of violence. Violence gets a lot done more quickly, but is it worth it? I think one can argue instances where that’s the case. Would earlier military action from the US meant less lives lost in World War II?

But as I looked for comfort for my recent behavior and was given “this is what was necessary to get shit done” justification, I knew I’d messed up. The real comfort and relief from shame comes from apologizing and acknowledging that a mindful, benevolent approach is almost always more beneficial… at least in matters that are not life and death.


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