Mentions of Intentions.

I think that words do have great meaning and relevance, despite people’s lack of faith in them at times. And that what a person says is quite important, both to understand the way they think, and what they’re trying to convey. But words are a vital tool that few appear willing to use to their full potential these days. Contracts and agreements were at one time entirely verbal, and that used to mean something. Now they are specious distractions used to manipulate.

Of course, they say actions speak louder than words. And, of course, actions are very necessary to test the words of some, making plain truth out of elaborate lies when words are used to deceive. The Great Actuator, actions are. What they can set into motion brings understanding out of silence, when words fail to do their job…or are neglected. Judge a person by what he does, not what he says, right?

But what of intentions? These are lost to most, and people seem wholly uninterested in them. You can’t get a job with intentions, be a good citizen, perform at school, conquer your fears, or unconditionally love with simple intentions alone. In that sense, they are hollow and useless, and are often bandied about as an excuse or a scapegoat to exonerate failed words or actions. “Well, I meant to do it,” or “I assure you that my intentions were honest.”

These phrases castrate our poor, misunderstood intentions, dragging down their reputations and stigmatizing otherwise precious and telling human characteristics that are great doorways to understanding. In my opinion, intentions are our greatest assets for those who care to look. They are a window into the words and actions of others. Knowing a person’s intentions is the only way to decipher these things truthfully, but it takes great vision and intuition and judgment of character to correctly assess a person’s intentions, and even then only possible with those you have had experience with.

If this is done well and correctly, words and actions don’t really matter. Not really. Sure, there are still behavioral considerations amidst interpersonal relationships to protect oneself and establish boundaries. But to pay attention to and know others’ intentions certainly makes it easier on yourself. It makes it easier to know what a person is really about, and, makes it easier to discern the validity of their words and actions. As I said, it takes great vision and intuition.

I am not there yet, but I really want to be. And I want to believe that intentions cannot be falsified. It’s an optimistic demeanor, and a sublime goal that will make me feel like a better person.

At least, that is my intention…

9 Responses to “Mentions of Intentions.”

  1. blackthorne6 Says:
    January 20th, 2004 at 10:36 pm

    Re:Comment
    I really like reading your posts. Sometimes what you write really makes me think..that does not happen all the time on LJ.
    Thank you.

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 21st, 2004 at 8:22 am

    Re: Comment
    Cheers, BT. That really makes me happy to hear, and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to do so.

  3. scotis_man Says:
    January 20th, 2004 at 11:46 pm

    To badly paraphrase Sun Tsu, "If you know your opponents motivations, the you will know the outcome of the battle." If you think of personal interaction as the "battle" (as he did), then you can see the truism of it all. To my interpretation of what you say here, anyway …
    I have always felt that peoples intentions are only ever looked at when words and deeds have failed otherwise. Good deeds without good intentions can be meaningless.
    -Karsten

  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 21st, 2004 at 8:29 am

    It was a great paraphrase, K. And thanks for alerting me to the similarities thereof.
    Though some might only look at intentions as a last resort, I really feel they should be used well and often, and in direct conjunction with discerning others' words and actions. That saves others from having to constantly qualify themselves (explaining and asterisk-ing) and prevents untold misunderstanding and misrepresentation if done well. After all, is there anything worse than feeling this way?
    Other than vice-clamps on yer balls, of course. 🙂

  5. netherelia Says:
    January 21st, 2004 at 2:03 am

    I am not there yet, but I really want to be. And I want to believe that intentions cannot be falsified. It’s an optimistic demeanor, and a sublime goal that will make me feel like a better person.
    At least, that is my intention…

    I really like this part in what you wrote. Turning things into one direction and then upsides down. There needs to be always some diversion in good text. 🙂

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 21st, 2004 at 8:30 am

    Diversion, distraction, or dissension?
    A little of each, perhaps?

  7. netherelia Says:
    January 21st, 2004 at 10:28 am

    Ah, but all oh them make such a nice ingredients for the witch´s soup 😀

  8. angledge Says:
    January 21st, 2004 at 2:56 am

    Is it entirely coincidence that you posted this thoughtful post about words, intentions, & deeds just hours before Bush's horrific State of the Union address?

  9. FunkyPlaid Says:
    January 21st, 2004 at 8:23 am

    No coincidence at all, but sometimes these things move in mysterious cycles.
    *wiggles fingers at you mysteriously*
    🙂

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