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My answer to the Case of the Careless Accident-er...
I will give you my short answer first: (for those of you that missed the original question, it was asked on Jan 11-2008)
The Case of the Careless Accidenter is interesting because the reader assumes the question is from the perspective of the person being hurt, when it can be asked about both involved.
We must do everything in our power to conduct ourselves in such a way that nothing we ever did or said would harm the innocent and in the event we fail to do this, we must be willing to correct our mistakes.
The Criteria for measuring a case of "careless accidenting":
1. Extent of damage done
3. Ability to self correct
This question has been debated for 1000s of years, it is even covered in the old testament, when cattle owners were held responsible for their oxen should they damage people/property. How often do couples accidentally say something they don't mean and hurt the person they love? On the other hand children often do not understand consequences for misbehavior and they really cant be held accountable, so it's not always so black and white.
The truth of the matter is, there is consequence for damage/injury to others, wether it was intended or not. We should remember that even words can hurt people, even if we didnt mean to hurt them. I know some will blame the person being hurt for "taking it the wrong way" but I really think that if our words hurt innocent people (meaning they didn't deserve it), even when not intended- we have a responsibility to bear.
I guess the whole reason I was thinking about this is the fact that I have cut people out of my life when I felt they were mistreating our relationship. Its happened more than once. Im not proud of it because its an awfully mean thing to do, on the other hand....I really felt there was no other choice, especially after trying to explain to them how they were hurting our relationship.
I know some of these people read this blog. Hopefully you can see where I am coming from.