"When I forget my ways, I am in The Way"

Philosophical and experiential notes on Nothingness, with supporting insights from martial arts, quantum physics and Taoism

02 June 2014

Word of the Day: Intervention

Three everyday interpretations of the word 'intervention'
  1. Intervening in the affairs of another nation. Made increasingly popular by the world's lone superpower, former superpowers, and aspiring superpowers. This is a deeply rooted historical tradition. Which must make it right.
  2. Medical interventions. Saving people's lives. This has been around for a long time. Which must make it right.
  3. Intervening in the affairs of other people. This has probably been around for an even longer time. Which must make it right.

Let's evaluate if they are, in fact, all right.
  • One of these makes sense.
  • One of these is based on alleged self-defense or power grabs.
  • And one of these makes even less sense. It is intended to dominate, or inflict one's will upon another.
  • Of the three, one of these is based on sound judgment. The other two are almost always based on poor judgment.

So now, let's play a little game called Imagination.
  • Imagine you are a nation that's been invaded. How do you feel the next morning when you find out that has happened? And how do you feel when the invader explains that they are doing it because you are a bad nation?
  • Imagine that you are about to die. And a doctor or hospital intervenes, and saves your life. Imagine how that would make you feel.
  • Imagine that you're minding your own business. And one or more people come up to you, and strongly suggest that you need to live the way they want you to live. Even though you disagree. And even though you're minding your own business. And never interfere with theirs. Imagine how you would feel? Even though they tell you that you are a good person, that they just want to invade your personal space because they love you so much. If fact, they proclaim, don't think of it as an invasion, think of it as a circle of love. Similar to inbound B-52's or a hornet's nest flying in formation. 


Except in medical emergencies, intervention is almost always offensive, aggressive, invasive behavior. It tramples on the rights of others without their permission. And often bases its' behavior on a long military or family tradition. Wait - that seems a little redundant.

It is not one of my favorite words.