THE BLOG
07/09/2014 05:24 pm ET Updated Sep 08, 2014

Boomerang Effects of Good Intentions

We go through life full of the best intentions in how we behave and in being helpful to friends and neighbors.

More often than seems fair, those intentions go awry and we find ourselves digging out from under misunderstandings or worse.

For example, you say to your wife, "Honey, you look great today!" She says with annoyance, "You mean I did NOT look great yesterday?" You cannot win for trying.

You report to your boss that $17 is missing from petty cash for stamps. He goes nuts trying to find the culprit, who turns out to be you, because you forgot to record a purchase for stamps. New job?

You hear from the production manager that the last month was double the previous month. You mention that to your neighbor and the next thing you know you are arrested for leaking inside information.

You see bank robbers exiting a bank. You write down the license plate of the getaway car. You tell the police. The robbers are caught. They get out of jail and beat you up badly.

In class, the professor asks for volunteers to tell him the three key things he just taught. You raise your hand and reel off two and draw a blank on the third. Another genius adds the third and you feel like an idiot.

Is there a theme in all these homely examples? Perhaps the best thing for a person to do is to say nothing, remembering that no good deed goes unpunished.

For example: A factory worker takes his lunch daily in a brown paper bag. At the lunch bell, he sits in the corner with his buddies and takes a bite from his sandwich, then spits it out saying, "Peanut butter, bah!" One of the buddies asks, "Why don't you get your wife to make something different?" To which the worker responds "Leave my wife out of this. I make my sandwiches myself!"

Go figure!