An elderly carpenter was due to retire.
He told his employer of his plans to leave the business and start a life of leisure with his wife and extended family.
He would miss the money, but the time was right and he was ready to hang up his hammer.
His boss was disappointed as the carpenter had been a loyal and diligent worker for many years, so he was sad to see him go.
He asked for one last favour, requesting that the carpenter could build one last house before retiring.
The tradesman agreed, but it was soon clear that his heart wasn’t in it.
He took shortcuts, used inferior materials and put in a half-hearted effort.
In the end the final product was well short of his usual standards, a disappointing way to end his career.
When the job was finished, the employer came to inspect the work. After taking a look around, he handed the keys to the carpenter and said, “This is your house, it’s my gift to you.”
The carpenter was shocked and embarrassed.
If only he had known, he would have made sure that everything was perfect.
If he had known the consequences, he would have demanded excellence from himself.
We’re not that different.
We go about our business, working as we see fit.
Some with passion, some without caring.
Some with excellence, some with low standards.
Some with diligence, some without effort.
We are all in the process of building our own lives.
If you’re not happy with what you see, perhaps it’s a direct consequence of what you’ve been building over the years.