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“If” Has A Twin, Its Name Is Intention

June 6, 2010

Since we’re talking about whack non-apology apologies, I would be re-missed if I didn’t mention another way people squirm out of personal accountability; hiding behind intention.

That’s right; “if” has a twin; its name is “intention”.

So instead of saying “I’m sorry if you were offended,” they add another layer by saying “I’m sorry if you were offended, that wasn’t my intention.”

Ahh yes, intention, that pretty word that paved the road to hell.

The intention excuse is just as bad as the “if” apology.

Yet to invoke it suggests the person using it believes they should never be held accountable for things they did because they may not have intended to do them.

The fact is, intention doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things.  It may sound nice, but it’s just another way to shaft personally accountability.  And ultimately it’s not what a person intends, it’s what they actually do that matters- that they didn’t intend to do it means nothing.

A hunter mistakes a person for a wild animal in thick brush. He shoots, he kills that person.  Of course, that wasn’t his intention, but someone is still dead.

A woman scrapes a stranger’s car while driving hers down a narrow street.  That wasn’t her intention, yet she’s still left a car damaged.

That lawmaker in South Carolina? He didn’t intend to offend anyone or garner national attention for calling an East Indian woman a raghead- but that’s what he called her. Should we hold him, or anyone else for that matter, accountable for what he intended to do, or what he actually did?

I can assure you, if you step in some dog poop, you’ll clean your shoe; whether you intended to step in it or not.

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