The end does not justify the means

In my early 20s I attended a church where I was told that God had allowed me to fall and twist my knee twice in three weeks to tell me to lose weight. Looking back, I can see this was a form of bullying. But what of the rationale behind this? The aim apparently was to coerce me to lose weight, which was considered a good thing by the deliverer of the message. However, there was no care in the method that God apparently used. Did the goal justify the treatment I received? Did the end justify the means?

I have worked in many organisations which have as their slogan to care for the disadvantaged. To meet this aim, they seek to make money at all costs. In the process, staff are underpaid and bullied, corners are cut, ethics are ignored, and the disadvantaged are mistreated. Can the mission of making a profit justify further disadvantaging those who are the purpose of the organisation? Can it justify mistreatment of staff and lack of ethical standards?

Then there is the way I treat myself. I push myself, ignore my own needs and my emotional and physical pain to meet my goal. My body becomes fatigued, my health suffers, and I wonder why. After all, isn’t my goal good? If I become ill from disregarding what my body is telling me, just to meet my goal, is it worth it?

The way I see it, the end does not justify the means. The goal can never abrogate us from the responsibility of compassion, understanding and love for ourselves and others. In fact, I believe that the true value of a goal is determined by the motivation behind them. If both the goals and our efforts to achieve them are based in love, then we are being authentic and true to ourselves and our stress declines.

Perhaps we should ask if what we seek and our motivation will further the purpose of love for ourselves and others in this world. Because I have found that living this way brings peace, happiness, and health. It is not until our purpose and the way we achieve it are the same that we can live authentically.

What are you seeking? At the very least, will it enable you to experience love for yourself? Please contact me for a chat if you want.

In love, Jenny

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