Writing Prompt: Good Intentions

I was having a conversation with a friend the other evening about how people lead their lives. We talked about how in the end, we’re judged not by what we intended to do, but by what we did. That makes sense, but it that the whole story? Is it ever possible to know what is in people’s hearts? Do good people sometimes make bad decisions or harm others?

I’ve known some people who actually have hurt people deliberately. They enjoy it and it’s hateful. I want to know what happened to the people who behave that way to make them lash out. There must have been a time before, when cruelty wasn’t in them. I wonder about that all the time. Does the desire to be good outweigh an evil act? Does hurtful behaviour that stems from prior pain render the cruel man less despicable?

I’ve known for some time that I am not the easiest person to live with, nor am I all together good. I have a recklessness in me that when unchecked, makes it difficult to govern my own behaviour. This leads to all manner of incidents that can lead to harm to others. But what haunts me is the idea that if my good deeds and mistakes are all I have to demonstrate who I am, how will those that I meet in life balance my account? If I offend unintentionally and can not redeem myself, am I, in the eyes of the injured party, only the sum of that one experience? Or, do people accept that those they meet are human with both good and bad days in them?

This is something I will never know that answer to, but I’ll continue to examine this and hope that when it come time to settle accounts, the good I have done will keep me in the black.

Try this,  write a story about some one who tries to do someone a good turn, but it backfires. How can they explain themselves? Are they forgiven? It’s a difficult one, but have a go.

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