Thursday, April 04, 2013

Give your best always

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely  life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house, " he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently, beautifully and excellently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort as it is meant for someone else not for us - why do we think others deserve less than the best out of what we are doing for them. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built (think in perspective of bigger environment we would be creating and working in). If we had realized how important (no matter how small it may be) it could be for us or others, then we would have done it definitely differently in the best possible way.

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