Altar

Intention Vs. Impact

Unfortunately I really did uproot a whole clump of wild grass in the making of my summer solstice bouquet, and I agonised over it for a while, convinced there was some deep lesson about ahimsa (non-harm) in there.

It reminded me of the first episode of the Yoga is Dead podcast, called White Women Killed Yoga, in which hosts Tejal and Jesal discuss the defensiveness of white women, who fall back on arguments like, “Well that wasn’t my intention!” to defend their actions.

When I’m challenged by someone (usually by my partner) I find it useful to check if my response falls under the J.A.D.E mnemonic: Am I justifying my behaviour, arguing my point, defending my actions, or explaining myself? If so, then I’m not really taking responsibility for my actions. No matter how whimsical my intentions were for picking grasses and flowers on the roadside, I still killed some plants along the way, begging the question of whether I should have been doing it at all if I was truly motivated by honouring nature.

All that being said, I went for the same walk about two days later only to discover that my dancing swathes of summer grass had been strimmed by the municipal gardeners and all that was left was empty wasteland…

Perhaps a reflection on how one person’s impact is nothing in the face of systemic impact?

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