”A good intention clothes itself with power.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I firmly believe that most people are not motivated to harm others or create mayhem in the world. For sure there are some who have badly and at times catastrophically lost their way and others who have had some bad luck and who have become deeply selfish. But for the most part, I choose to believe that the world is full of people with an essentially good heart.
However, there is a big step between a passive avoidance of harm and an active intention to ‘do no harm’. Establishing such an intention and ‘clothing it with power’ as Emerson describes would be huge. If each one of us was able to live each day without harming others or the planet imagine the transformation we would see and feel.
Moving from passivity to clear intention requires us to become aware – aware of our thoughts, our actions and the world around us.
Aware of the impact we have and the habits we have cultivated or more likely, fallen into. Aware of the needs and life realities of others and examining our own talents and abilities to see how and where we can make a difference to them.
When I think of intention at its most powerful level I think of the idea of ‘greater good’, which for me means a deep-seated commitment to playing my part in making the world around me and the quality of life experience I and others enjoy, just a bit better each day. A quality of life experience based on more love, compassion, and kindness imbued with intention, such that these qualities become a powerful force for action.
Personally, I know I fail on my intention most days. There are always ways in which I could be more loving, more compassionate and kinder…and yet for me the power that Emerson speaks of lies also in our self-awareness and from there, our ability and determination to recommit to the intention day in day out. To never allow the failure to become the reason to stop our intention to be better and to help create a better world.