“The road to heaven is paved with good intentions”

This was described by MG as an Irish proverb that she grew up with.

Who would say it?

MG: “All the older Irish people would say it. My mom said it and her mom said it too.”

What does it mean to you?

MG: “It means “oh I’m gonna do this stuff but I’m actually never going to do it”. Your father always does this, he’ll say “Oh I should call my uncle Tom” but then never does it or “Oh I should take Jack out for a ride in my car” but the never does it. The paved means they didn’t get to heaven so it’s the pathway to heaven but it doesn’t mean you actually get there. It doesn’t say the road to heaven IS good intentions it’s just PAVED with them.”

Do you think it reflects Irish culture?

MG: “Well it’s a very Catholic culture so it’s very motivated by getting to heaven. So religiously I think it’s Irish”

I thought this proverb was interesting because it was basically saying it’s ok to not follow through on your plans. I had definitely heard the proverb before but didn’t think this was the interpretation. I thought it was particularly interesting when MG said “the road to heaven isn’t good intentions” which is what you would logically think, especially if it has religious connotations. I think this could, in some way, be a proverb to help someone battle guilt about falling through on plans. That way you at least show that you had the intention even if you couldn’t follow through.

In the Madonna song 4 Minutes: