Pat's View: Human intent
By Patrick Robinson
So much of what transpires between people has to do with intent. It’s the basis for shades of criminal law of course since it involves one person’s violation of another’s rights. Did you intend to harm someone or was it just a negligent action?
Intent suffuses many day to day exchanges, from simple courtesies scaling up to murder on the other side and other end of the scale.
When we forget our intention, or more commonly apply it in ways that we are clearly aware are meant to inflame, we are forgetting something extremely important. Ourselves.
By that I mean that since human beings are bristling with sensors and high awareness of how they are being received, judged, spoken to, treated, and regarded our intent matters.
We care what others think about us because, that’s the way we’ve worked out how to get along. Our sense of self, for better or worse, is comprised to some extent on how others treat us. It’s not true for everyone of course. Some people more astutely draw their sense of self from their own reservoir of personal experience, training, and growth.
Intent matters for multiple reasons since if used positively, it can ease interactions, clarify terms, dispel doubts about expectations and in general make life easier. For instance, there’s a difference between someone throwing a drink in your face and unintentionally spilling it on you. Neither one is pleasant but knowing the intent makes a difference. It helps you respond with empathy and compassion instead of anger.
Forming your intent and shaping it is useful and can help you get where you want to go. You have to ask yourself as you pursue a goal why the goal matters to you. If you don’t, you might be driven by nothing but negativity. Politics too often is driven by a negative intent. People seek to defeat a candidate, or change a law or bring about change by channeling their hate or anger. Their intent is obvious. They believe that focusing on a positive alternative they will fail. They believe that fear is more powerful than love.
That’s simply not true. Fear is often short term, unfounded, used as a tool, all too often associated with dark or negative intent.
Actual love, real, and relentless is and will always be more powerful.The basis for your intent matters. The expression of your intent matters. Mindfulness about your intent matters.
Stay in the moment and mind your intent.