Look, there is no doubt that God exists. No doubt at all. Before Christians start getting ahead of themselves, let me make it clear that God in this case is a collective name for all external forces that we have convinced ourselves to be having inordinate and tyrannical influence on us and all things existing. Ngwale is represented, Allah is represented, Buddha also and of course Khama (because if you are able to turn into a fly and unleash terror on enemies, that is outright supernatural, you qualify to be God). God does not only exist because highly regarded holy texts written by men with wild imaginations and high on some Schedule I drug say so, you know that God exists because there are women (and men) so unearthly beautiful and scrumptious that you look at and think, this cannot be evolution, this can only be God. Most, if not all relationships with God are eternally long-distance affairs in which the only reliable mode of communication is prayer. Prayers are the spiritual equivalent of coins which we place in a divine vending machine, if we put the right ones in, in the proper sequence, we should automatically be granted whatever it is we ask for. Ask and you will receive! Obviously, most of us have no clue of the right coins and the proper sequence, so we are doing very well in the business of asking and receiving middle finger after middle finger but nothing close to what we are begging for. This request, to pray against unintended purpose is not channeled towards this unfortunate majority, it requires the attention of people who, by virtue of their overt success tales which are so envied, seem to be privy to the right coins and the proper sequence. We are talking about single people whose relentless prayers on Valentine’s successfully gave us good rains the day after, lucky human beings who get cancer and beat it, lucky bastards whose mothers get married to caring men that delete the need for that irresponsible sperm donor, Shepherd Bushiri, Mark Zuckerberg, Cyril Ramaphosa, Emmerson Mnangagwa and everyone else getting exactly what they want out of this life thing. I forgot to add Bruce Nkgakile for ornamental sake, but yes, Bruce also.
Unintended consequences are unforeseen and unanticipated outcomes from a deliberate act. God had too much faith in humanity and our self-control and deliberately gave us reproductive equipment and hormones for reproduction right from birth. The unintended consequence is that we are fornicating and disappointing God in the process. Had God foreseen this unintended consequence, he would have realized that we are only deserving of an activated reproductive system at marriage, not at the inception of puberty. He definitely meant well by giving us the equipment early on but we being animals, keep doing what animals do; pay no respect and attention to delayed gratification. According to Robert K. Merton, who popularized unintended consequences as a socioeconomic concept, these are caused by the world’s inherent complexities. Among the leading contributing factors are human stupidity (which is inevitable), failure to account for human nature (which is difficult to do), cognitive and emotional biases (also inevitable). Already at this point, this sounds like a problem without solutions, but there is nothing prayer cannot solve especially by those who know their way around the divine vending machine.
There are three types of unintended consequences and not all are bad, only one is good and that is unexpected benefit. With unexpected benefits there are unanticipated positives. When Viagra was conceived and developed, it was meant to lower blood pressure, its current main use was later discovered as a side effect and we now have a little blue pill so powerful that it has some of our leaders flown to hospitals in South Africa to solve problems that have hardened beyond repair that is available locally, was that 2011 or 2010?..but definitely sometime before Sissyboy. The other two types are bad news, unexpected drawbacks and perverse results. Unexpected drawbacks occur when an unexpected detriment occurs in addition to a desired effect of an action. Our very own internship programme! Yes, it keeps graduates busy and away from home, learning a few skills from the workplace and gaining experience but we now have a basic minimum wage for graduates (fixed at P1400) and no pressure by institutions and corporations to employ since there is a Pacific Ocean of graduates that provide cheap labour to pick from. Poor government trying to make ends meet and creating a problem that was not anticipated, but knowing my government, it was probably foreseen but they had immediate interests over-riding long-term interest. The last type is perverse results, an effect contrary to what was originally intended, when solutions make the problem worse. The moral hazard from giving free ARVs by our government is a classic example, because government blesses people with free ARVs, we have a breed of careless people who have unprotected sex because after all there is free medicine waiting. Government then has to increase spending to meet the demands of new infections that are consistently cropping up. This cannot be good, which is why prayers are needed, to eliminate but if that fails to reduce the effects of unintended consequences on our communities. If government can aspire to totally eradicate poverty, why can’t I be as unrealistic?