SAT essay on good intentions vs. good resultsWatch
I'm taking the SAT reasoning test the coming Saturday so I'm trying to practice the essay section more. I'm not that sure how to mark them myself though. Could you please read my essay (below) on good intentions vs. results and give it a mark out of 6? Any tips for the SAT essay would be greatly welcomed too!!
Thanks in advance!
Prompt: Do good intentions matter, or should people be judged only according to the results of their actions?
Good intentions are certainly admirable and can potentially contribute to amelioration, but initiatives alone are not enough to bring about positive change. Moreover, there are many cases of good intentions coupled with poor implementation resulting in negative results, for example Friar Lawrence's hopes to end the feud in Romeo and Juliet and shoe company TOMS's aspirations to help children in LEDCs.
In Romeo and Juliet, the character Friar Lawrence agrees to conduct the marriage ceremony of the eponymous couple out of benevolent intentions. At one point in the play he justifies his part saying "For this alliance may so happy prove / To turn your household's rancour to pure love". As a neutral and intermediary figure between the Montagues and Capulets, he hopes to end the long-lasting feud and restore peace in Verona. Spurred by this motive, Frair Lawrence concocts an elaborate yet problematic plan allowing the couple to elope after Romeo is banished. His plan ultimately fails and engenders the suicides of the couple. In sum, while the Friar's intents were undoubtedly noble and high-minded, the play's eventual tragedy was devastating and decidedly his responsibility.
Likewise in philanthropy there lies an inevitable gulf between altruistic motives and the results of charity. While in recent years the overall focus has shifted from intent to results, there still are some foundations left in the dust struggling unsuccessfully to traverse the said rift. Somewhat surprisingly an organisation as such is the 'media darling' TOMS, which donates a pair of shoes to 'a child in need' for every pair that customers but. Any reading of the founder Blake Mycoskie's biography reveals stark and evident good motives, however all this gets mostly lost in translation to tangible results. In fact, recent studies have shown that the giving of TOMS shoes in African countries has had a direct and detrimental effect in crushing local industry. Furthermore, TOMS's approach does not actually solve in the long term the issue of hookworm parasites (what they are trying to combat by donating shoes). TOMS is yet another instance of good intentions leading to negative outcomes through inefficient action.
In conclusion, while it is an upsetting idea (especially in philanthropy) that good intentions don't always create good results, it is a reality and an issue we have to target and resolve. Effectively channeling is key and individuals and firms trying to do good should focus on good results, but in a way that does not undermine good intentions.