Community and Workmanship

It is way too easy to blend in.

If you want to be average, no problem. Go ahead. In fact, it’s not very likely that anyone will notice.

I was listening to my wife’s grandmother talk about the lack of pride in workmanship in my generation. It’s true, and this bothers me.

Chances are, if you are under the age of 40, you have fallen victim to a lack of pride in your work yourself.

Why?

Our grandparents’ generation worked with a high level of pride. They also had a high level of community.

Communication was slower. An idea could not spread at the speed of the internet. People knew their neighbors. They knew the people who owned the local businesses. They even knew their families. They were personally connected with the people they served and the companies they worked for.

This is completely different from the last 30 years of chains stores and huge corporations. It is so easy to just slip into an organization and just disappear. There is little to no connection between the owner and the employee. Many feel they are a replaceable cog in the machine so they behave that way.

Quality suffers.

When the guy who swept the floor of the local grocer didn’t do a good job, it was known. His family knew it.

It is barely noticeable when the guy who pushes the sweeper at the community super store does a lousy job.

Doing the minimum is actually the easiest way to fit-in within a do-what-you’re-told-when-you’re-told environment.

What’s the answer?

A community is the sum of the individuals within it. It’s ethics, morals, and pride match the ethics, morals, and pride of the majority of individuals.

Everything begins with the initiative of an individual.

  • Robert K. Greenleaf, Servant Leadership

The answer is personal. What will you do? Will you settle for the cultural norm of average? Or, will you commit to a higher level of pride in your work?

Your actions influence the people around you, and you have a choice.