Wizard’s Second Rule

The greatest harm can result from the best intentions.

The greatest harm can result from the best intentions.

I recently read this interesting article in one of our local daily free newspapers.  As I read it, I couldn’t help but realize that this would, in essence, become a de facto way of refusing permanent residency to anyone who was afflicted with this condition.  Well, with the exception of those who are excessive demand exempt.

In that way, it takes what seems to be a humanitarian effort and perverts it into a subtle way of exclusion.  By extension, it means that any attempt to improve treatment for those already in Canada can be used to exclude anyone with that condition from coming to Canada.

This reminded me of the Wizard’s Second Rule (Terry Goodkind’s fantasy series).  The point of this rule is that when we do things we think are beneficial, they may have ramifications beyond the “good deed”.  In this case, I have no doubt that the people behind this effort truly believe that what they are doing is for the greater good, yet it will profoundly affect the lives of others in equally negative ways.

I take this as a subtle cautionary tale: unintended consequences do happen and we must be careful to protect ourselves against them.

Best wishes to all this holiday season!