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When Good Intentions Go Bad

Paramedics and cops start out with perfectly good intentions, but they don’t have to rush over to help you when you’re lying in a puddle of your own blood. It’s in their contracts or something, that if they don’t feel safe they can let you lie there like a plucked chicken, waiting for the roaster.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me; I just wish this applied to every job, even teaching.

“Mr. and Mrs. Johnson,” I’d say, “I’m afraid little Jimmy just isn’t my cup of tea, and I won’t be teaching him English, anymore.”

“Why not?” Mr. Johnson would roar at me, his jowls shaking.

“Well, it just isn’t the best use of my time,” I’d reply calmly.

And so it would go.

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Are paramedics and cops smarter than the rest of us, or do they really have less than good intentions?

I’ve always wondered why the road to the Bad Place should be paved with those, the very things our parents and teachers were always trying to instill in us; the desire to be helpful and kind, rather than listless, uncaring, or destructive.

Every time you set someone up on a date with a lonely, single friend, you may be dooming them to a lifetime of custody battles and fights over bank accounts.

Every time you defend someone from malicious gossip, or actionable lies, you’ll be misunderstood, hoisted on your own petard, so to speak, and you’ll die alongside them in the morning when the townsfolk turn out to see the ‘hangin’.

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As for the reverse, should you decide to rob a bank, you’ll be headed straight for Heaven, but only if you keep all the loot for yourself and not give it away like some freaking Robin Hood.

If you choose to milk the pension plans of your employees, you’ll be honored at the company’s awards night. You’ve saved the retirees from innumerable twilight years filled with comfort. They’ll only get fat.

Should you doubt these words, consider history.

When someone filmed Rodney King’s disastrous encounter with the LA cops, what happened? One of the worst riots in that city’s history.

When Henry the Eighth’s oldest daughter Mary, tried to save her kingdom from religious indiscretion, she had to burn people at the stake and was known thereafter as Bloody Mary. We invented a very refreshing drink based on her good intentions.

(“Religious zealotry” as an excuse, is available for rent for your next AA meeting.)

bloody mary

When love, an emotion generally considered to be pure and good, is given to someone of our choice, the world is suddenly stricken with a number of diseases that bode no good for humankind.

Consider a community activity that appears on the surface to be relatively innocuous, such as social media.

If someone posts something that is hateful or moronic, and you object to it, you’re very likely to be vilified and un-friended by any number of people, a much less painful and metaphoric way to die than being burned at the stake, or hanging from the gallows.

Perhaps you just want to live your life quietly. You give up your place in line at the store to the person with only one item, and suddenly fifteen thrifty shoppers appear at your elbow. It ends up taking thirty minutes for you to check out.

Or you smile and act pleasantly to the people on the street, and you become the patsy to every panhandler looking for spare change.


I think I just answered my own question. The Road to Hell really is paved with good intentions.


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5 thoughts on “When Good Intentions Go Bad

  • June 24, 2016 at 11:15 am

    So apt Gigi! I think v all must have experienced one or the other.
    I wish I could tell some of my clients – I’m sorry, I refuse to tolerate your tantrums! I can’t hide your side flab bulging out as you need to workout than scream at the tailor to eliminate it :). But I never could.
    I never knew the source of Bloody Mary term though I’m not very fond of that drink. Poor Mary ;).
    N of course people with single item ! U made me cry Gigi !!!!

    • June 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Oh, my! I didn’t mean to make you cry! I do enough for the two of us.

      Yep, you can also imagine as a flight attendant, that we saw the very BEST of all kinds of people. Not.

      Excelsior, Mini!

  • June 24, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    How many time did my good intentions get “Lost in Translation” with non-English speaking passengers..
    What begins with a smile sometimes ends with a frown….ha ha…

    • June 24, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      Just speaking to another English speaking American can get you into trouble. I’ve been ‘unfriended’ two or three times on FBook over something perfectly innocuous and innocent. Crazy.

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