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Story No 12

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12-Always Do Your Best

A carpenter was working for a contractor for many years. He had grown old so he thought to retire. He went to his employer-contractor and told him that he wanted to retire now as he was now very old to do such a heavy work.

His employer was sorry to know that one of his very best and most loyal workers was leaving. He tried to persuade him to work for some more years for him but the carpenter was firm in his words. At last he could make him agree to build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed for this, but it was easy to make out that his heart was not in his work.

He was lazy in working, his workmanship was not as good as before and he used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and his employer came to see the house he built, he appreciated him and thanked him to obey his last request. Then as a gift for his good services of so many years, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said - "This is your house, my gift to you. Please accept it, don't say "no" to it."

What a shock, what a shame. The carpenter got shocked to hear his employer's words. If he had only known that he was building his own house, he would have done it all so well and so differently that he would feel enjoyment living in it. Now he had to live in that house, which he had built the worst in his whole life, for his whole life.

[So it happens with us too. We all build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best, especially when working for others. On most occasions we do not render the job as our best job. Then, one day, we find with a shock, that we are living in the same house which we have been building for others. Think of yourself as the carpenter, think about your life, it is like that last house which you will be building for yourself, so build it wisely. It is the only life you have ever got to build a house in which you are going to live. Even if you have to live it for only one day more, that day should deserve the best, to be lived graciously and with dignity.]



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/05/13