The difference between intention and impact

14 Apr

Look, I know you’re a nice person. I know you mean well.

I do, too.

The question is: what are you and I doing with our good intentions?

This is an awesome short video about the difference–and sometimes the vast distance–between intention and impact:

It reminds me of Mia McKenzie’s decision to replace the noun “ally” with the action verb “currently operating in solidarity with.” Helping the poor is not a status. As McKenzie writes, it ought to “describe what a person is doing in the moment. It does not give credit for past acts of solidarity without regard for current behavior. It does not assume future acts of solidarity. It speaks only to the actions of the present” (


One Response to “The difference between intention and impact”

  1. Lisa M. April 14, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Intention and impact are actually the same. We cannot intend to help the poor or be well-meaning with only the “right words”; our actions must be aligned with our words and that determines our intention.

    Most of us, including me, actually believe we are well intentioned, but our actions clearly display how we really feel. There is no way poverty could exist and be increasing at the current rates if we all intend to be a part of the solution.

    Thanks for placing the mirror to our faces.

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