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quotations about intentions

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

KARL MARX, Capital

A man's intentions should be allowed in some respects to plead for his actions.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, Dec. 1756

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

WILLIAM A. FOSTER, quoted in Igniting the Spirit at Work: Daily Reflections

The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.


Intentions are a lot like seeds. You shove them into the ground, and every once in awhile, you water them. Largely, the seed does most of the work on its own. If, on one hand, you were digging the seed up several times a day to see what progress was being made, the seed would not take purchase in the soil. On the other hand, if you completely ignored it, giving no water or nourishment to the soil, the seed might not thrive.

MARY ANNE RADMACHER, 365 Bold interview, Mar. 20, 2013

Perdition awaits at the end of a road constructed entirely from good intentions, the devil emerges from the details and hell abides in the small print.

IAIN M. BANKS, Transition


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