JournalismPakistan.com September 7, 2013
Have you ever heard of the law of unintended consequences and the huge role it plays in your life…and mine?
For example, you help someone by getting him a good job. He comes from a low income group but you offer this big break and everyone is truly grateful. His family think you are awesome. The man then fast tracks his career and becomes well off, dumps his parents, breaks relations and pushes off. They blame you. No good deed goes unpunished, true, but unintended consequences kick in.
Here are classic and oft reported examples of UC. Cane toads were brought to Australia to gobble up pests destroying crops. Now, they have proliferated and become pests of their own.
When alcohol was banned in an Indian state the bootleggers became millionaires and illicit liquor caused a major rise in deaths by poisoning.
Increased irrigation canals in developing countries improve water flow and at the same time triple the water borne disease stats.
Hospital environments are so immune to antibiotics they are the best place to catch an infection. Go figure.
You get the drift. We all either add to it or are at the receiving end of the sting in the tail.
You break a confidence with all positive intent and it boomerangs…the way to hell is paved with good intentions.
Why do I bring it up? Because I just heard of a friend who brought together two families and their son and daughter and set up the meeting and played Cupid and felt so good and the two got married and now, not even a year later they have split and the friend is being told he misled them totally, couldn’t he see they were not made for each other.
Thing is, maybe if we stayed out of each other’s lives a little more, unintended consequences would reduce but then we’d be bored and serve no purpose…guess one just cannot win.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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