Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Homespun Wisdom

Henry Ford once said about making cars something to the effect, "It costs as much to build something ugly as it does a thing of beauty, so why make something ugly?" His point was that if you are going to put in effort, why not do something worthwhile that will be appreciated? The cost is the same. I remember hearing this quote on some television documentary long ago and it has stayed with me. While I have not remembered his exact wording, I think his point still comes across clearly from what I have. Of course, this statement is not limited just to the manufacture of automobiles. It seems to me to be a generally applicable statement. If you are going to make an effort, why not make it a good one? The cost is the same.

For example, when you work on a project for your job, when you take on a chore that your spouse normally does, when you do your yard work, when you listen to a friend who is hurting, or when you are playing with your children, instead of doing a half-hearted job that will just cause people to get upset with you or dismiss you or marginalize you, go that extra step, spend those few extra moments, listen with your heart and not just with your ears. Do your best work even if nobody notices or comments. This is a great way to make something beautiful. I think Henry gave us some good old-fashioned homespun wisdom with this one.