Dignity of Humbler Work


Statue of a plumber, Omsk, Russia

John W. Gardner in Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too? (1961):

‘The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.’

In other news, I should watch Good Will Hunting.


2 responses to “Dignity of Humbler Work

  1. I was watching a show on NHK World TV channel called the Professionals. The subject was a fellow who had spent his life packing furniture, etc. for people moving overseas. It was amazing watching him cut up cardboard boxes, using sticky tape, bubblewrap and occasionally chopsticks to fit awkward pieces of furniture and knick knacks in boxes. His father had worked at the same company. Before he joined he had looked down on his father for his lack of education. When he joined the company he heard him constantly being praised for his punctuality, reliabilty etc. – and so he wanted to be like his father. Anything can be a vocation.

    Liked by 1 person

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