Quotations about   good intentions

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“They thought they were doing it for the best,” said Windle. “People often do. It’s amazing, the things that seem a good idea at the time.”

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Reaper Man, ch. 16 (1991)
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Added on 24-Mar-19 | Last updated 24-Mar-19
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No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one’s sentiments may be, if one has not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one’s character may remain entirely unaffected for the better. With mere good intentions, hell is proverbially paved.

William James (1842-1910) American psychologist and philosopher
The Principles of Psychology, Vol. 1, “Habit” (1890)
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Added on 16-Oct-17 | Last updated 16-Oct-17
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… a noble aim,
Faithfully kept, is as a noble deed,
In whose pure sight all virtue doth succeed.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) English poet
“Brave Schill! By Death Delivered, Take Thy Flight” (1809; pub. 1815)
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Sometimes misquoted "is a noble deed".
Added on 21-Jul-17 | Last updated 21-Jul-17
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I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.

Burroughs - entirely of flaws - wist_info quote

Augusten Burroughs (b. 1965) American writer
Magical Thinking (2004)
Added on 12-Aug-16 | Last updated 12-Aug-16
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He who is mistaken in an action which he sincerely believes to be right may be an enemy, but retains our esteem.

[Celui qui se trompe dans une intention qu’il croit bonne, on peut le combattre, on ne cesse pas de l’estimer.]

Jules Verne (1828-1905) French novelist, poet, playwright
The Mysterious Island, Part 3, ch. 16 (1874)
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Added on 20-May-16 | Last updated 20-May-16
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[T]he behaviour of the cat was somewhat peculiar. It was soon noticed that when there was work to be done the cat could never be found. She would vanish for hours on end, and then reappear at meal-times, or in the evening after work was over, as though nothing had happened. But she always made such excellent excuses, and purred so affectionately, that it was impossible not to believe in her good intentions.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
Animal Farm, ch. 3 (1945)
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Added on 26-Apr-16 | Last updated 26-Apr-16
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Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
“New Year’s Day,” Virginia City Territorial Enterprise (Jan 1864)
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Added on 31-Dec-15 | Last updated 31-Dec-15
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Actions will be judged according to intentions.

Muhammad (570-632) Arabian merchant, prophet, founder of Islam [Mohammed]
The Sayings of Muhammad [tr. Abdullah Al-Suhrawardy (1941)]
Added on 31-Aug-15 | Last updated 31-Aug-15
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When I had the strength, I did not have the patience. I have the patience today and I no longer have the power.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 11-Nov-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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In political institutions, almost everything we call an abuse was once a remedy.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 29-Jul-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Good impulses are naught, unless they become good actions.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 8-Apr-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Good intentions are no substitute for knowing how a buzz saw works, Ira; the worst criminals in history have been loaded with good intentions.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 12-May-15
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