Ok, so I realize that the use of pride and lions isn’t really in the correct context for what I’m shooting for here. A lion’s pride really refers to a social group while the type of pride I’m referring to is about pride in yourself, but the title sounded catchy and I liked it, so there.
I wrote about my dads eulogy for my grandfather a couple of months back. Since I wasn’t able to make the trip up for the services I asked him to send it to me so I could read it. One paragraph in particular struck me, and I have to say I almost laughed a little.
I see life as more about the little things. That isn’t to say I don’t get wrapped up in the big things (i.e. infertility) but generally feel like if you spend all of your time worrying about the big things you’re going to miss something. It was a series of little things that contributed to the decline of my first marriage and that isn’t something that I’d care to repeat. In fact in hindsight most major life events can be, in my opinion, tied together by the little things that came before it. It is why I am big on compliments and like to periodically give little gifts. It is also why I find myself feeling strangely proud of the weirdest things: cleaning the kitchen, making my husband breakfast (which generally consists of heating a bowl of oatmeal in the microwave, my workout schedule, planting a few flowers in the front yard.
I almost laughed a little because this is what my dad wrote:
“He always took pride in everything he did. As many a teacher will attest, even the blackboards at the school were so clean you could not see a speck of chalk dust on them. He would say to me a job worth doing is a job worth doing well. Well, he actually didn’t say that, it was more like, Butch, if you’re going to do something no matter what it is or how small a job it is, do it right. It says a lot about you.
Years later in the Marine Corps I was using a floor buffer. I was taking delight in how great my newly waxed floor was buffing up, for I had many hours of practice on the buffer on the basement floor of this church. I said to one of my buddies hey look how nice this floor looks, taking pride in my work. He said, “Izzy why do you take pride in doing a good job on such a menial task. I looked him right in the eye and said. If you are going to do something no matter what it is or how small a job it is, do it right, it says a lot about you. He looked back at me and I could see he was thinking about that. He said you know I never really looked at it that way.”
Strangely I don’t remember ever having a conversation about this and yet it was something I found I followed anyway – taking pride in what you do, regardless of how big or small it is.
Get an A on a test? Be proud.
Clean your room? Be proud.
Accomplish something big? Be proud.
I know mom and dad will be.
April 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm
Such a great lesson. My poppie always said, “Better spending time doing something right the first time, then wasting time with a redo.” He, along with my mum, were always so intentional with everything – even to this day. I am so thankful for that.
Ironically, E and I were talking about this very topic tonight as we were driving home. Which made me question, what is so hard about taking pride in the work you are doing?
April 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm
I think part of the problem is that the small things are also under appreciated. People think why try so hard when no one notices anyway?
April 7, 2013 at 11:20 pm
I second the above comment. I work at a high school and one of the math teachers at our school has a sign in his room that says, “If you don’t have time to do it right, you better have time to do it over.” Definitely a valuable lesson!
April 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm
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