Saturday, 7 November 2009

there's nothing that is not tainted, and nothing which can't be redeemed

Okay, I'm struggling a little with something....

It is good to have good intentions
[although the road to Hell is apparently also paved with them].
It is good to act on those good intentions.
It is even better when good intentions are acted upon in as ethical a manner as possible.
So far... so 'good', but what happens in a world which is full of contradictions and multiple shades of greys and underneath so many good acts there is the possibility for sub-texts and agendas to lurk?
There is nothing that is not tainted....

Why am I rambling on about intentions - the good, the bad or the just downright ugly?  I need to try and tease something out in my head to which there are no 'right' answers... and the wisdom of friends is welcomed here.  Although I suspect this post won't really make much sense at all...!

I won't go into what prompted this line of thinking - suffice to say it involved good intentions and some comments about the unethical practices of a particular organisation [which was not the organisation that was actually being used, but of course it's always useful to be as fully informed as possible].  This recent situation is not isolated, but similar scenarios have occured from time to time...
trying to wade through the mire in the hope of doing something good,
searching for what is hoped to be the best / most ethical way of doing something...
acting upon it while knowing that no matter how ethical or good an organisation is, that there will be flaws, that there will be folks who are somehow offended by the manner in which that group do something. 
And I've often wondered what one does?
I'm one of life's cheerful optimists, but even I begin to feel paralysed by it all. 
It is a quandary.
If I choose to point fingers at any organisation which might in some way be 'tainted' and refuse to work in some way with them what is the possible outcome?
Do I congratulate myself on the strength of my ideals?
Do the service users/ those who benefit lose out on the support, but warm themselves with the knowledge that at least they won't be helped by an organisation that some see as 'tainted'?

There is nothing that is not tainted...
but do I do nothing?

And then I begin to think that somehow, there is also a subversiveness about the fact that even in the process of using tainted structures for good... they can somehow be redeemed.  And in the very act of employing the structure for good, you have more of a way in to be able to voice concerns and try to effect change from within.
And in the process... people can still be helped.
All things can be used for ill.
But all things can also be used for good.

There is nothing that is not tainted, and nothing which cannot be redeemed.
Hmmm, I am quite Augustinian at times!

1 comment:

Shuna said...

I have learned - through my own foot in mouth experiences and the times I have chosen to stick to an ideal that sometimes it is best to work out which fights are worth it -pick the battles.

I boycott a particular brand of chocolate/coffee - but if someone serves me up one then I dont say no ta - coz that is rude. But if I have a choice then I avoid. Initially I attempted to boycott all products owned by that company but that was just plain confusing so I have stuck to boycotting anything that has the parent company logo on it.