Sunday, July 31, 2011

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

I read this today in a book I'm currently infatuated with The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex W. Bealer. It really rings true to the current path I've been following doing tedious work and paying close attention to each step in the process. This mantra has really helped me deal with taking jobs one step at a time and avoid getting ahead of myself. It seems like it's all those little things that you have to focus on intently so that your finished product is something that represents your skill and craft.

Another quote that has really had an impact on my life is "true heroism is remarkably sober...," by Arthur Ashe. I saw it in a movie called Philosopher Kings. The movie is incredibly well done, it follows several janitors and unveils their life stories of why they are where they are. I have really connected with janitors in my life and I realized more recently as a student maintenance worker, when I recall back to my days of elementary school there was this awesome custodian named Mr. Barnes. When I was a kid I always connotated him with a lower class member of society, but I realize now that I am so thankful he was there cleaning up puke at Eldersburg Elementary School. He had tattoos on his arms and big muscles and he and his wife both worked as custodians at my school. He had a stern facade, however an extremely positive energy and emanated a stoic, modest work ethic. It's funny how the things you scoff at come back and impact you as heroic and worth emulating later in life.

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