Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Unintended Consequences

I recently wrote a post asking the following question:

If you could wish for anything in the world and have it come true, would you wish for something for yourself, something for your family, or something for the world?

My online friend Bill noted that he would likely do something for himself because making some grand wish for the world would likely muck things up even worse. This got me to thinking at bit more on this.
  • A wish for no more wars might be granted in terms of everyone being so apathetic that tyrants could operate out in the open unchecked.
  • A wish that your sports team would win every championship might lead to a fan base that vanishes in short order leading to a league that closes down.
  • A wish for jobless rates to be zero might mean a new socialist government where everyone makes the same wage regardless of what job they do. Of course, this would also likely include a completely corrupt government to boot.
  • A wish for no child to go hungry might lead to unchecked population growth that would eventually lead to all-out war in the fight for resources.
Sometimes even a completely heart-felt, altruistic, and humble gift that seems like a no-brainer can lead to unintended consequences and much more pain and suffering than if we acted more selfishly. Of course, this is not an entreaty to folks to stop giving and trying to look out for others. It is more a considered thought into why we might make certain choices with a bit of perspective.