The road to hell is paved with good intentions!
Sometimes we hear a person (may be we are that person) saying: “I did not want to do that wrong.” “I know that was wrong but I have good intentions; only God knows what’s hidden in my heart.”
True; only God knows what is hidden in our hearts, but it‘s also definitely true that we are responsible for our choices and deeds; and we will not be asked about our intentions as long as they will not be turned into real deeds.
How can a doctor, for example, decide to terminate the life of his patient by any medical means under the name of having good intentions to relieve him from more suffering? Isn’t it a crime disguised in good intentions?
How can a structural engineer design and supervise a building for social housing that look magnificent from the outside while lacking all those safe and accurate internal techniques. When the building collapse and innocent people die, he would probably talk about his good intentions to supply those poor homeless people with any shelter as soon as possible. Wonderful intentions! Indeed. Unfortunately, it cannot alter the fact that this is also a crime.
But isn’t it true that good intentions can also save us. In other words, if we think of good things, God will help us and we will reap what we sow! What’s the difference, then? Simply it’s again our deeds. In other words, in this case we have good thoughts; we want to follow good means to fulfil our good aims. In all directions righteousness are there to guide us. This is why we will be rewarded for our good intentions even if we did not manage to do them.
There is a short story, popular story in Arabic heritage, that can symbolise the significance of intentions;
One day a royal prince looking so ambitious, thinking about the kingdom and its subjects, decided to take a tour around his palace and was accompanied by his minister. It was a warm day and they decided to start early in the morning. They did not go that far when the prince suddenly saw a small house surrounded by a beautiful green garden full of neat small trees with glossy leaves and ripe fruits. The prince decided to get inside and have some rest at that garden. As soon as he stepped inside, he was amazed by the beauty of those red fruits hanging on the branches of their trees and glowing under the sun rays that had just started spreading and adding extra heat to the day. A little girl came to welcome the visitors. She knew the Prince; of course who could not recognise the royal heir?!
Before the girl said anything, the prince said:
“We were having a tour around and we would like to have some rest at your beautiful garden.”
The girl replied: “Welcome your highness! This is a great honour.”
The prince then asked her: “Wouldn’t you offer us a fresh drink?”
The girl replied: “Of course your highness; I won’t be long.”
The prince rested under the shade of one of those beautiful trees enjoying the fresh breeze of the morning and smelling the soft fragrance of the garden and thought about how poor people were blessed with such a peaceful life. Then he decided to pay generously for his drink.
The girl came back in what seemed like a couple of minutes with a cup full of red juice. The prince said: “You were so quick! What kind of juice is this?”
The girl said:” Pomegranate; I picked just two from our trees.”
As soon as the prince started drinking, he believed that it was the best juice he had ever tasted! It was cold, fresh and so sweet that he drank it all and wondered if he could get one more before leaving which certainly was welcomed by the girl.
But this time something had changed, the prince’s good intentions changed into evil ones, he thought:
“How could not this magnificent garden with such beautiful pomegranate trees be part of my palace? As soon as I get back, I will give my orders to start making the proper extensions and this garden would definitely be mine.”
But this time, he waited too much for the girl to come with the tasty juice. What had been done in a couple of minutes, was taking more than an hour. At last the girl came with just a half cup of juice. When the prince started drinking, he tasted a complete different juice.
“Yuk! What is this juice?” He asked
“Pomegranate, Your highness!” the girl replied
“Where did you get it from? How many did you juice? And why were you so late this time?!” the prince angrily questioned.
“At the beginning, I picked two from the same tree as I did before but they were not enough so I picked 10 more pomegranates and still could not get enough juice. This is why I was late.”
The prince was totally shocked: “What happened then? If it was the same tree and you juiced more fruits, why its taste is different? Why is it so bitter?
Though little but she was so wise, the little girl said: “May be you have changed your intentions, your highness!”
The prince knew she was right.
With all best wishes,