Best Intentions, Cruel Outcome

I think I have good intentions. With almost every situation and almost every person, my intentions are good. And when they are not, I know it from the start. I don’t lie to myself. A couple of times recently that thought process has been tested. A few months ago (a little more than 3 months) I discovered a blemish on someone’s life, someone I don’t necessarily care for. Well, let me retract. It’s not that I don’t care for this person, it is more that we don’t see eye to eye and I don’t trust this person. So, discovering just how imperfect this person’s life was gave me some pause. I will admit, a part of me did a little happy dance just because there are times when this person has made me feel lower than low. Another part of me was genuinely concerned about this person. That concern made me feel good though – like regardless of how others have hurt me I am still compassionate enough to care when they go through rough patches. So the concerned part of me and the happy-dancing part of me were butting heads. Everytime someone brought up the person in conversation, I fained oblivion because regardless of how I felt, if this person’s struggle was not yet common knowledge, I had no right to express my opinion about it. It took a good two and a half month before it finally became common knowledge and I felt free enough to speak when others speak about this person’s situation. But even then I was conflicted. The part of me that never stopped caring about this person does not want to say anything that could be labeled as mean-spirited. The other part of me, the part that is still seething – wants to drag this person’s name through the mud. So with those two extremes pulling at me, I find myself committing covert sabotage – giving what I now recognize to be underhanded compliments. So despite my good intentions of showing genuine care and concern, I still end up saying something untoward because there still some hurt lingering in me. The second situation happened more recently. I have a firm belief that honesty is the best policy and that honesty must be coming from a place of kindness. In my opinion there is no moral good in telling a truth that is only meant to destroy another person. I pride myself on being honest with my loved ones. But a part of me now wonders if I’m misusing that policy. Yes, one should strive to be as truthful as possible with the ones he/she holds dear but I have to wonder, if not knowing something is preserving your loved one’s peace of mind and telling them everything would only turn their world upside down and cause them pain, is honesty truly the best policy? I myself know that I don’t always want to know everything people have to say about me because I know that I will internalize it and drive myself crazy, whether it is justified or not. So, what gives me the right to think that I should dump all the truths out there on those I love simply because doing so would be honest. If that honesty isn’t doing them a kindness, then maybe I don’t have a right to say anything. I would hate to watch loved ones make the same mistakes over and over again without someone bringing it to their attention. But on the other hand, is it my place to point out what may or may not be flaws in someone’s perception on life or whatever else? When the things I undertake with the best of intentions end up genuinely hurting someone else, I have to re-evaluate what I’m doing.

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