2 years and 168 days. Help … don’t hurt.

My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:

L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés et désirs”  (hell is full of good wishes and desires)

–Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Years ago, I was graced with an opportunity to work with Pam Baker to help asylum seekers in Hong Kong.  http://www.theguardian.com/news/2002/apr/27/guardianobituaries.  She was a wonderfully crazy and unique individual.

Pam Baker

For example, she used to drive her convertible jeep in the rain with the top down.  Between lights, she drove really fast so she wouldn’t get wet — her forward momentum would cause raindrops to hit her windshield, and not fall directly down on her.  Then, when she had to stop at red lights, she quickly opened her umbrella!  Of course, she did all that with a lit cigarette hanging from her lips.  Mind you, she was in her early 60s at the time.

She had brilliant legal mind, a sharp wit, and even sharper tongue for those who inflicted injustice upon the helpless and the weak.  The best things about her, though, were her amazing ability to keep her humanity, and to fight against overwhelming odds to protect the human rights of others.  She lead a rag tag team of volunteers from Australia and America to fight for justice and the rule of law when those ideals were inconvenient for the international community.

Many a good people joined Pam’s fight.  But, not all who joined were good.  There were those who claimed they were their to help, but their motives were dishonorable.  Some, for example, were unsuccessful in their respective countries, and found in refugee camps a ready place where they could prey on those weaker than they.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  Too often, people bring ruins to the very thing they said they were there to help.

Sometimes, people masked their evil actions with good intentions.  Other times, their good intentions may be true, but they simply failed to execute them.  I find most frequent, however, people do harm because they simply put other desires or interests above their good intentions.  These could be the desire to look good, to appear smarter than others, to feed the ego, to prove others are foolish for not accepting their help, etc.

Don’t be like that.  Help if you can.  If you can’t help or contribute positively in any way, then do nothing.  Walk away.  Don’t do anything that will hurt the cause you were going to help.  This is a simple rule that I live by.

All my love, always,

Dad

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