Weekly weekend contemplation – the ends do not always justify the means

I’ve been busy this week, and as a result, I’ve mostly neglected social media, but a few of the encounters I did have out in the land of trolls, bots, and the occasional sentient being, have put me in a mood. Not a particularly bad mood. A mood I find hard to label. Not quite sad. Not quite annoyed. Not quite resigned. Just a mood. Perhaps a bit tired of the dissonance while there is so much that needs attention. Perhaps just tired. And I picked up a bit more unpaid responsibilities for my volunteer work to help overcome a paid staffing shortage. Yeah, I know, I know. But for now, not getting paid is mandatory for me, and the experience is valuable. So, between the small amount of caregiving my spouse requires, and the extra work I’ve taken on, I’m perhaps a bit more worn by the people residing in a world that seem to lack nuance. It is definitely not the same one I inhabit. Exhaustion. Mental exhaustion. That’s probably it.

But, like most analysts, I relax by well, doing more analyzing. Puzzles, paradoxes. Physics. Sure, I read fiction, too – although I prefer mysteries, so I guess, that may not sound helpful. But it does help me fall asleep. And since this weekend promises more heat, humidity, and rain – continuing a summer-time trend that seems worse this year – and since my spouse certainly can’t enjoy walks, or trips to local summer fairs, contemplation is probably about as relaxing as it gets.

Those pesky social networking exchanges this week coincided nicely with this quote that I’d come across in my reading last week. In the US, and in many other places, there lately seems to be a greater focus by many on the ‘ends’ or the ’cause’, but less attention is being paid to the means used to promote those ends. When those means are not so noble, questionable, or even harmful, it is our actions, and the actions of others that we allow to occur unchallenged, that will, in the end, forever taint even the loftiest of goals.

“I am firmly convinced that we must never judge political movements by their aims, no matter how loudly proclaimed or how sincerely upheld, but only by the means they use to realize these aims.” —  Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations

Sunset between the storms, August 14, 2018.


3 thoughts on “Weekly weekend contemplation – the ends do not always justify the means”

  1. The other day you wrote about mindful listening. It’s something that I have to conscientiously try to do because I seem to live in my own little bubble most of the time. When I do hear things that disturb me and confuse me…. things that I cannot fully believe about people’s greed and hunger for power…. lies and uncaring and thoughtless actions…..I suffer. I respect your analysis of how you are feeling and want you to feel better…. almost wanting you to come join the bubble heads where life is fine and all people are honest and righteous, eager to get along and striving for the good of each other….. but we need you, Carol, where you are, and others like you to stand up and remind us that things are being said and done that should not be accepted. So… know that you and your writings are appreciated- so much. Hope you feel brighter tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

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