It was just before 10am on a cold Sunday morning. In front of us a red sports car pulled over and a woman stepped out. She wore knee-high boots, a mini skirt and a halter top. The red sports car pulled away and repeated this same action several times continuing down the road. It took us just 3 weeks to be able to identify the local pimps car.
Knowledge may be power, but it is also a responsibility. Knowing is only the beginning. Some people are pleased with themselves just for knowing. After all, maybe not everyone would notice and now they possess an insight that others lack: what an accomplishment. The question becomes, what impact does this have on us? Often we see tragedy or injustice and we are momentarily flooded with the best of intentions.
Organizational psychologist Ian Percy says that, “we judge others by their behaviour. We judge ourselves by our intentions”. This means we often give ourselves a little wiggle room in the self-critique department while others come up short. We intended to support that local charity; we thought about volunteering; we considered going back and asking that homeless person out to lunch – we’re full of great intentions and we’re full of great reasons why we are unable to be part of the solution. And we live comfortably in this space because we are soothed by our good intentions.
When do good intentions stop being enough?
As our understanding of Włocławek grows, so does our insight into local needs. Our knowledge of this town is ever greater and there is coming a point when knowledge and good intentions will inspire ideas and those concepts will translate into reality. Though true that it is part of our job to meet felt needs, it’s more than a job description; it’s a lifestyle choice. We’re making the choice to act. There are often two sides to everything. Intentions can drive us to create change or can coax us into complacency. What have your good intentions done for you, and others, lately?