Since there are already no immoral acts, forgiving people with kind intentions is easy. A friend did this to you with the kindest intention. If it goes wry, your friend has the kindest intention and shouldn't be blamed. How can you? Their intentions are good.
But the law judges the act as itself. When there is good intention in murdering someone--euthanasia for instance--murder is still being committed. Sentencing is a different matter.
When a person does something with kind intentions, the act is still being committed. There is still fault in the person and they should take responsibility for it.
Increasingly I'm getting discontented with the generalization people say. Is there really no wrong or right?
Suppose your friend is in an affair with a married man. Let's establish that
1. You shouldn't judge your friend,
2. you should be supportive.
But being supportive doesn't mean you say things like "as long as you guys love each other, it's fine" because it's morally wrong. You hurt the man's family, his wife, his children, and who is to say the man wouldn't cheat on your friend in the future? People whose partners have cheated would understand the pain; children whose parent has cheated would suffer.
Being supportive just means not judging. But you should still caution your friend that adultery is morally wrong. Take a moral stand when giving advice, but don't judge. That's what being supportive means.
For example, on a birthday, a man gives his girl friend a bouquet of baby's breath and she is happy with the surprise. But years later, when they argue one day, she says, "You are a shitty boyfriend. For one of my birthdays, you gave me wilted cauliflower."
Such people are scary because they can revise the past to suit their needs. When they say, "How do I know that you didn't do this then," what they are really saying is "I know but I don't care enough about you to remember it this way."
I finally figured this out recently. Lady Macbeth is culpable. The act is done by Macbeth, no doubt, but she instigates and inveigles upon him.
Opinions have weight.
Opinions are made of words and words have power.
Say, a homophobic social worker advises a teenager that being gay is wrong. And the next day, the teenager kills herself. Whose fault is it?
The teenager chooses to commit an action, but shouldn't the social worker take some responsiblity in producing the action?
Religions work by opinions. It's the opinion of the ecclesiastical few that starts wars.
Hitler isn't the one to kill 6 million Jews. It's his opinion which influenced the nazi soldiers.
To shirk off all responsibilities when giving irresponsible opinions, even if one's intention is kind and to be supportive, is wrong. The person who gives opinions isn't spotless.
"Why do you sting me? Now we will both sink."
"Because it's my nature."
The fable is not a tale about acceptance because we pity the Frog but at the same time, we don't blame the Scorpion. When a pedophile pleads, "It's not my fault, it's my nature," we cannot accept that and allow him to keep hurting innocent people.
"It is my nature" is a juvenile defense. People can change and should change if they know they hurt others physically or emotionally, intentionally or not.
The fable is about the recognition of nature, and trying to change it. Maybe in the process, both will sink and drown. But at least the Scorpion has tried.
They do nothing. I tell my students, everyone knows Richard is evil, but they do nothing to stop him from getting the crown, from killing little boys, his nephews, and his brothers, from marrying his deceased brother's wife, the former queen.
The good guys are as culpable as Richard for not doing anything. In a sense, although Richard represents pure evil, the true evil, not necessarily worse than Richards, is inactivity and lassitude.
Which is why I try to speak up. The operative word here is "try" because I'm a coward and in situations of life and death, I'll probably cave. But I try.
At the pool, an old man in his 50s with dry shriveled brown skin flipped and turned and did push-ups on the deck chair! to attract the attention of a young hot boy beside him.
Today, on the train, I saw a boyish secondary schoolboy. He had perfect fair skin, tall with perfect bone structure and perfect posture. Smooth all over--he was wearing his PE shorts--and his arms were as thick as his body. And of course I was attracted to this jailbait.
The only thing that differentiated the dirty old man at the pool and me was that I controlled myself. I glanced at the boy twice or thrice and returned to my book.
But who is to say that the dirty old man was wrong? He was going after what he wanted.
As I grow older, my desire changes. I'm beginning to like guys my age. Of course, now and then, when a young boy comes along, I am stirred. Isn't it evolution that tells us to like the healthiest body? But in general, I find myself attracted to people in the late 20s and 30s now.
Desire is fluid and can change. I wonder why some people don't.
But these days, I fear I can never feel that way again. People said I've mellowed but in fact, I don't feel anymore.
If you cocoon yourself and always see things from your perspective, then traveling will give you nothing.
In other words, traveling will give you a thousand lives only if you erase yourself, see from other perspectives and become someone new at each destination. We do not have a single self, we are multitude.