It is said that the ends justify the means; in fact they do, but only ultimately. Many short-term, narrowly-focused, greedy people exploit the wisdom of the end standing in judgment over the path that led to it. They also exploit the need to break eggs for the greater work of the omelet. When used wrongly, the principles still hold, but the application to their circumstance has been counterfeited. Like any counterfeit, the good concept is usurped for a false notion upon a dark purpose. Short term ends do not justify corners cut for fleeting results. But, in the End of All Things we look back and see that whatever road guided us to Life was worth its passage.
The destination of every journey will look back on whatever effort arrived at its result and there decide whether it was good or evil.
Not everything ends well. Dishonesty, theft, opportunism, fake ingredients, faulty materials, and any disingenuous shortcuts fail to produce; they only steal from tomorrow’s profits. Life is indeed a “zero sum game” in a world without morals and standards of equal, two-way conduct. In the End, the zero sum of the zero sum game renders the verdict against itself, that the means lacked the synergism that results from the mutually respectful conduct of a life of morals.
Doing harm in order to achieve some “greater good” doesn’t actually lead to that greater good; it at least detours from it and at most leads to an even greater evil mislabeled.
Levying bribes and shorting quick change don’t lift people from poverty, it anchors them there. Honesty escapes the “zero sum game”. Morals spawn synergy, giving lift to wings. The happy ending vindicates the hard road we traveled. It does not excuse selfish injury of others, but it rewards self sacrifice and delayed gratification, even when circumstances and parents force the fruits of patience upon us.
Glad endings don’t miraculously justify wicked means, but whatever end will stand in judgment over the paths we choose. The end will have the last word. When you live your life in preparation for the end to which you will answer, you set your destination straight and calibrate your conscience.