I heard this story recently and wanted to share it.
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted 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 favour. The carpenter said yes, but over 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 a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, “This is your house… my gift to you.”
The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
Does this sound familiar? We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realise we have to live in the house we have built and if we could do it over, we’d do it much differently. But sometimes unfortunately, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall and create the outcome that you get.
“Life is a do-it-yourself project. Your attitude, and the choices you make today help build the ‘house’ you will live in tomorrow. Build wisely!” – Author unknown
How will you build? As if you are tired and need to get this out of the way now or as if it is yours to have forever and ever. Will you build it with kindness and gentleness and care or will you take it for granted that it is just another thing to build and hurry up to get it done, knowing there will be another time and another place to fix it or make it better. Or are you just plain fed up and you want to go curl up in a corner and simply not build anything anymore?
Opportunities are not disposable and people are not dispensable, so build wisely else it be yours forever; broken and in despair. Build with care to ensure longevity, loyalty and good returns. Take care of what you have when you have it and it will be yours forever; repairs will be minimal you will reap the benefits. Or else the results will be proven in the workmanship and you alone will have to live with it.
And tell me how your week is going at [email protected]
Catherine Tyson is the author of I’m Somebody’s Mama and host of the Lighten Up Show With Catherine Tyson on Cayman 27.