Posted by ESC on September 25, 2003
In Reply to: What does this phrase actually mean posted by Dan on September 24, 2003
: The road to hell is paved with good intentions
Even if you have good intentions, but never follow through with action, bad things will happen. If you buy an exercise bike and it just gathers dust, you'll stay weak and out-of-shape.
: Actually, I heard that it means although people mean well, sometimes they can help bring about evil things.
: For instance, this phrase was frequenty used during the Second World War because the policy of Appeasement, although well-intentioned and intended to avoid war, had allied the Axis powers to build up their power and led to the most devastating war in history.
ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS - "The French cleric and mystic Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was credited with having first recorded this familiar saying in 'Apothegm' (c. 1150): 'Hell is full of good intenions or desires.' One might have wondered what could be bad about having good intentions, but that was just the point of the proverb - hell was full of good wishes, while heaven was full of good deeds." From "Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New" by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993).
Wishing doesn't get it. Action does.