Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Impractical labor

A friend, reader and fellow blogger, Dana Jones sent the following link to a favorite blog telling of the Impractical Labor movement. Their motto is "as many hours as it takes." But is there anything really impractical about quality work? I am reminded of a friend whose teacher in India had informed her that "while people think that the spiritual path is impractical, it is actually the most practical." This could be seen when one takes a long term view, fully aware of the ramifications of each action. When you do shoddy, inattentive and careless work, you often have to do over, and it wasn't fulfilling in the first place, so you suffer twice. If we find joy in our work, is it impractical or more practical? It depends on your view.

Toshio Odate in this month's Woodwork tells about the carpenters who laid down the new floor in his studio. They missed the joists with most of the nails. Odate was so distressed that he removed the poorly placed nails and did the job over. When asked why he didn't ask the carpenters back to do the job right, he told that he couldn't. He was ashamed for them. It is something, a heavy weight, that they carry in their hearts from job to job and home each night to infect the lives of their children.

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