Monday, July 25, 2022

Intent

The strangest thing about humanity is that we are able to simultaneously hold two contradictory opinions and not even be aware that we are doing it. And, still, we consider ourselves a rational species.(I have said that before? So?)

When it comes to judging the actions of our fellow-men, the idea that the same action can be reprehensible or pardonable depending on the intent of the person doing it seems ridiculous. You have a clear idea about actions...whether YOU think it is good, bad or indifferent. THAT is final and the chap who does that action falls into that box, intent be damned.

And, yet, when it comes to ANY conversation, the lightest word that anyone may say, we dive right between the lines...to interpret his intent, his actual words be damned! AND intent is almost always determined based on who you think he IS and need not necessarily have any link to what he actually says.

I mean, like, let us hear someone say things in opposition, say, of a lynching. You dive right in, see who IS lynched, whether the chap who says it is seen as in the 'party' of the lyncher or the lynchee, so to speak. THEN, you start off on 'why did he not say this when that other person a couple of years back was lynched' and so on. Reacting to what you think is HIS intent...that of propagating HIS own philosophy and NOT any sympathy for the 'lynchee' or his revulsion for the barbaric practice of people feeling free to go on a rampage with scant regard for the law.

In small and big ways, every single conversation is marred with the search for Intent...whether you see the intent to put you down in the slightest criticism, or see larger things like casteism or patriarchy even in things that would pass as benevolent actions if there were no caste or gender relationships in the picture. AND, of course, these days you can hardly release a movie or write a book unless you have screened every single word and every single pixel to see what intent someone can read into it. Viva Social Media!

Reading intent is a great thing. If only people will spend more time on reading and correcting THEIR intent and not on working 24x7 trying to find fault with others' intent...But,  then, we are much more confident that we have divined other people's intent when we are totally unsure about our own.

One may as well dream of Faster-than-Light travel, I suppose, as to expect people to 'see the beam in their eye before seeing the mote in other people's eyes'. AND, who knows, FTL may come to pass sooner!

4 comments:

  1. Deep-diving into one's own intent takes some doing but is ALWAYS worth it.

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    1. It is. But it is seen as too tough by most

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  2. Requires a lot of parallel processing mind power for truly and correctly judging the intent ...be it of the one speaking in front of you or even tougher to do self inspection for knowing The Intent !

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