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It’s the Thought That Matters, right?

by Adam Zack — August 12, 2020

The thought has to end in success.

I heard someone say today that it’s the thought that counts, and that made me think that no, it’s the result that counts more than the thought, right? I can think good thoughts for you to be happy or successful, but if you aren’t and I only contributed good thoughts, then the thought definitely wouldn’t count as much as my action. So, I decided to look into the phrase’s origins. Turns out that it’s a proverb, and not just a phrase. It is attributed to Henry van Dyke, Jr., a professor, ambassador and clergyman around the turn of the 19th century. Henry was a friend of Helen Keller and the officiant at Mark Twain’s funeral. The full, original proverb is “It’s not the gift, it’s the thought that counts.” It’s nice to receive a well-intentioned gift, and instead of looking at the wrong size sweater that you have to return as a chore instead of a gift, it’s a reminder that someone actually cared enough to actually get you a gift. It’s a good reminder. Still, I have taken the lesson to heart and used it as a reminder that it’s not just the thought that matters in today’s world. It’s the result. Well intentioned isn’t enough when it comes to safety, quality and customer service in business. In our grocery stores, the thought has to end in success. If not, it remains just a thought. Think about it.

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