Day 709: The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

How much do your intentions count for? Do intentions matters when you do something that has repercussions because you did not consider everything or execute your plan effectively? When you hurt someone, does it matter that it was not your intention to do so? When you have big dreams, does it matter that you intend to work towards creating it, but don't actually ever start doing that?

When your intentions and actions or words are contradictory, which one determines who you actually are?

What are intentions if you do not live by them? Do they determine who you are? Or do actions speak louder than intentions?

What if you have "good" intentions, but the way you execute them is ill-considered and ends up creating a huge mess? Is who you are determined by your intentions in this case, or by your inconsiderate actions?

When you know you should be doing something, when you want to do it, does it matter if you don't actually do it? Do your intentions absolve you?

Have you ever absolved yourself of wrongdoing because no matter the outcome, your intentions were good?

Good intentions are just a feel good gimmick where we can tell ourselves that, even though we didn't really think about the consequences of our actions it's ok, because we had good intentions. All that means is that we weren't deliberately assholes, we were assholes by mistake or oversight. Look at it this way: If you were the manager of a building project and you have really good intentions in terms of getting the job done early, but in order to do this you cut some corners (not investigating the possible consequences, maybe not even considering at all that there may be any) and because you cut corners the building ends up collapsing, killing a number of people - do your good intentions of getting the job done early absolve you of blame? No? I know it's an extreme example, but this is essentially what we do: We have these really good intentions, but we don't think about the potential consequences and end up leaving a path of destruction in our wake. Not taking the responsibility to look back and acknowledge that we ARE responsible is unacceptable. How will we ever learn from our mistakes?

Obviously it is preferable that each of us takes the time and makes the effort to make sure that we have considered every possible aspect of a thing before we charge headfirst into doing it. This includes considering the people who may be affected - not only how they might physically be affected but holistically: this means putting yourself in their shoes and looking through their eyes. Good intentions mean nothing if your actions are not well considered - enough so that your intention is manifested as closely as possible to what you actually want to accomplish.