Jamie Oliver recently caused quite a stir by making what were deemed to be ‘inappropriate’ comments about breast feeding. Whether you love or hate him, Jamie’s done some fairly decent things out there in the world when it comes to making sure young people in particular, have access to decent food.
I’m not his biggest fan, so I can’t comment on the finer points of what he’s achieved over the years, but I can comment on intention. And while intention doesn’t count for everything, it does count for something, and I think it’s time people chilled out a bit. Not just over this, but lots of things.
If you spend more than a few seconds before you react to things, you could probably make your world, and the world in general, a lot better, happier place. I know outrage sells, but come on, let’s get real. It’s not difficult to tell the difference between someone who knowingly says or does something negative or that you don’t agree with, (think Donald Trump), and someone who does it somewhat unwittingly, even if they should know better. Sometimes even the best of us can let slip a poorly chosen word. Jamie included. And this is where intention comes in.
Intention is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card to shoot your mouth off without thinking and say whatever you want, but let’s not ignore it completely when things go a bit tits up. Pun intended.
I pose this challenge to you: before you launch at someone for something they’ve done or said, look past the words and at their intention. Whether it’s someone in the public eye, or someone you know personally, it’s usually pretty easy to tell what someone’s intention is. In Jamie’s case, a few poorly chosen words does not justify every man and his dog, or in this case every woman, getting stuck into him. By all means ask for clarity if you need it, but don’t get sucked into sinking the boot in for no good reason. And don’t let a few poorly chosen words overshadow what may actually be a predominantly good, useful and important message either.
These days we seem very quick indeed to look past the good, and to put a ridiculous amount of emphasis on the bad. Maybe it’s because a good rant gets such good traction on social media. Something everyone can join in on with calls to ‘burn the witch!’. Nothing like good old mob mentality. Whereas, for some unknown reason, there’s so much less glory in posting good vibes. Well, I say it’s time to chill out, recognize good intentions, maybe even have a bunch of your own, and keep the good vibes alive.
Footnote: Great to see some more balanced reporting out there in this article.