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The Effect of Impact and Intent on Hurting Others

Branches in a Grey Sky - branches frame a grey sky on the bottom and right sides of the photo

Branches in a Grey Sky (c) 2012-2017 Windy Johansen

So, I have been thinking about impact as compared to intent as applied to mistakes and hurtful things. This will probably be short, even though this is something that would benefit from a longer post.

If someone crashes into you, and the event paralyzes you…you’ve been hurt. No one can be truthful in saying that you were not injured. Paralysis changes someones life. That’s fair to say.

Maybe you’ll never walk again. You have the use of everything other than your legs. You might feel a lot of things. This is a traumatic thing, even if you can still do almost everything even after this.

But think of this possibility. The driver of the car wasn’t trying to hurt you. Maybe they had no idea that the car was faulty, and something broke…and you were hit. The driver is apologetic. Pays all the bills needed to help you get back to as much of you as possible. Maybe you find out that you can drive again, but you have to have hand controls for your car. The driver pays for all this too.

You’re still paralyzed, but this person has apologized and tried to set things as right as they can.

Compare, though, someone that wanted to hurt you. Maybe they thought they’d get money for it or something. Or they just straight up hate you for whatever awful reason.

If I were in such a car crash, I’d want to be dealing with the first driver.

I really think intent does matter, because it can change what happens after the injury. Even if it doesn’t, I’d say that one suffers less when you know someone wasn’t trying to hurt you. It’s worse when someone wants to hurt you, I think.

And yet, you’re still paralyzed. And you need kindness from others, and it hurts when people are nasty to you.

Even though intent is important, I know I have a holy responsibility to be the person who lifts others, even when the initial injury was nothing I caused. I’m a fellow human being, and it’s only right that I honor God by acting towards them in the way that He would.

It’s only what I need when I fall.


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About rootedphoenix

I am the owner and blogger on this site. Hi! :D I like sparkles, sweets, and being nice. But I also laugh at snarky things. So I'm a work in progress.

2 Responses to The Effect of Impact and Intent on Hurting Others

  1. tammayauthor says:

    An interesting perspective. I tend to agree that it makes a difference when someone didn’t intend to hurt you (not only physically, as in the example you give, but psychological) versus someone who did. Having said that, you’re still hurt and intent doesn’t always alter the person who hurt you. Sometimes, yes, but not always.


    • Sorry about leaving your comment in the moderation queue for two days! That wasn’t nice of me at all. I will do better in the future.

      “…intent doesn’t always alter the person who hurt you.” I don’t quite understand what you mean. (I’m sorry, sometimes someone’s clear language will still confuse me. I want to understand you, because this a thing that I want to understand more about.)

      I used a physical metaphor because emotional/psychological injury is less understood. The level of choice available to you in how it affects you is not well understood. Having a physical injury…you can’t choose after the injury to just magically not have it. But with emotional injury, it seems like many think that’s something possible.

      Thank you for your comment. :)


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