Actions or intentions?

When faced with decisions or challenges what do you do? Do you define the person by their actions? Or by their main intentions?

This situation will come down to that decision. Actions or intentions?

A local newspaper delivered daily to schools in New York, contained a “questionable” photo and story in it. The publishers original intention was to not deliver the newspaper, just to be on the safe side. Thinking it would make parents and teachers accuse them of being, “negligent” or “insensitive”, they did not send it.

The publisher said that they would call to talk to the school, but he didn’t some through and call. It could have easily been a mistake because people get busy and have other things to do. I’ve done it before, say I’m going to call a person and I forget to do that.  

The teachers and staff of the school insisted on them sending the newspaper, since it is being paid for. Teachers agreed, the decision was there’s to make before the publisher, so they wrote to the publisher telling them to continue sending the newspaper.

Some staff wanted the publisher to send the papers with a flyer on top explaining the article and situation. That wasn’t the best thing to do because, I’m sure you’ve experienced this, but things tend to fall off of packages or items when traveling to different places. The flyer could have easily fell off or gotten lost, and than the school might get mad because they don’t like the article; in which the missing flyer would explain.

I think the intentions of the publisher were good, and if I were him I would’ve done the same thing. If your school received a newspaper with a controversial picture or article, and the newspaper didn’t tell you; I’m sure you’d be mad right? I don’t think there’s any person, who is reading this post, that can say that they would be perfectly fine with a newspaper sending an inappropriate article to them.

So what would you define a person by? Actions or intentions?