Have you ever been in a situation where you inadvertently do more harm in a bid to do some good or solve a problem?
Many have found themselves in such dicey situations, and a Redditor recently started a thread to get people’s perspectives on this issue.
The Reddit user, WorldsBiggestNarcist, asked, “‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’ what a real-life example of this is?”
So far, the question has garnered 15,000 comments from Reddit users, with more than double that number upvoting to give ten real-life examples of when a good intention created more havoc.
1. Introducing Foreign Species to Tackle an Environmental Problem – 39k Votes
Addwon’s contribution was the number one voted response, “The introduction of non-native species as a means of solving an environmental problem.”
Citing Hawaii as a real-life example, Paul_swimmer explained, “Invasive species goes all the way back to Polynesians. They brought pigs and chickens for food. They cause all sorts of problems now that they are wild.”
2. Introduction of Cholera to Haiti – 22k Votes
Reddit user, Scootarded, proclaimed, “Haiti did not have cholera. A disastrous earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, after the earthquake humanitarian forces from the UN arrived to help, and the Nepalese contingent reintroduced Cholera to Haiti.”
Giving the nod, another Redditor, Neuronexmachina, responded and backed the claim with excerpts from an official UN report on the issue, “The scientific evidence now points overwhelmingly to the responsibility of the peacekeeping mission as the source of the outbreak.”
3. The Adverse Kudzu Effect – 19k Votes
Aldous_Hoaxley explained, “The introduction of Kudzu for erosion control. It has become invasive and girdles and kills plant life above ground without establishing proper roots, therefore causing soil erosion.”
4. College Call Gone Bad – 17k votes
While sharing a personal story, GunasInFlux noted, “My mom called my Christian university (that 17-year-old me attended by my parents’ behest) to inform the school that I was smoking weed, drinking, and having sex.
She thought because it was a Christian university, they would put me into a counseling program to get me ‘back on track.'”
They concluded, saying, “The school told me to pack my bag, leave immediately, and they rescinded the 80% scholarship I obtained, causing me to owe the full 100% for that semester which I’m still paying off a decade later.”
5. Stranger Danger – 14k Votes
Much_Difference reply was “convincing people in the 1970-90s that hundreds of thousands of American children were being yoinked into random cars by evil strangers each year while downplaying and underfunding the resources that could actually help decrease child abduction.”
6. The Overprotective Parent – 11k Votes
EisConfused answered, “Those parents who solve all their kids’ issues and don’t make them ‘stress’ about consequences of their own actions.
Their kids just turn into inept and entitled adults who still act 15 for decades and not only have a harder life for themselves but make life miserable for everyone around them too.”
7. No Child Left Behind – 9.4k Votes
Addwon simply wrote, “No child left behind.”
Tobythedem0n chimed in, “Yeah. There was a kid in one of my high school English classes that just couldn’t read. Like at all. I felt sorry for the kid, but his inability to read while in a regular English class held the rest of us up.”
8. Lobotomy – 8.4k Votes
Raftsa responded with, “Lobotomy. Surgery to fix the mentally unwell. It sounds so good: no more reliance on medication, you’re good from now on. But it didn’t work.”
They continued, “The outcomes were awful and it was frequently done without any sort of consent.”
9. Reddit Comment Section – 7.1k votes
Alldayerrdaym8 said “The Reddit comment section.”
LeAlthos replied “Also, is it just me, or do people in these subs just talk … weirdly? They kinda sound like parents scolding their children, armchair therapists, or a ‘hell yea, slaaaaaaaaaaaay qween’ parody.”
10. Failed DARE Program – 6.7k Votes
Youngmcdonald85 simply answered, “The D.A.R.E program.”
CutEmOff666 agreed, “Whoever decided DARE of all things was a good name for an anti-drug program is a massive idiot.”
Redditors have shared examples of some things that turned out disastrous, even though they were borne out of good intentions. Can you think of some other ones that are yet to be mentioned?
Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.