Giving more than expected was good in just about any undertaking. A day’s work for a day’s pay, was considered alright, but it was most likely to keep you at the same level ad infinitum. To get ahead, on a fast track, involved doing a bit extra.
Commenting on this principle, Jose Ortega y Gasset wrote
“Excellence means when a man or woman asks of himself more than others do.”
Mr. Gasset brought the principle down to a personal level in that the truly successful person, man or woman, learns to expect more of themselves than others may. Often, we get mired down by performing at or near the same level as others. Most of the time we could and should do better. By giving more of ourselves than we thought we could, we grow stronger and are able to be more satisfied with ourselves. Our willingness to excel gives a deeper inner satisfaction, even if it goes unnoticed by others. Over the long haul, giving, doing more than is expected, will pay dividends.
It may surprise you to note that Mr. Gasset’s take on giving/doing more than expected comes straight out of the Bible. Jesus said it this way in Mt 5:41,
“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”
The principle shared by Jesus Christ, Jose y Gasset and most bakers is now considered passé. Far too many expect to live the life of the rich and famous without exerting any effort other than vociferously complaining, and energetically screaming “I am here therefore I am entitled to thirteen donuts.” The principle was never to “get” thirteen donuts.
In the summer of my eighteenth year, I witnessed a heated argument where I worked. My pay was based on “Piecework,” meaning I was paid on how many “pieces” of work I completed in a predetermined time frame. One of the workers was loudly wondering why one man got paid more than he did for the same amount of work. The boss listened patiently, and when the worker finished blowing off, said, “Bill it’s simple, when your work is inspected in final finish, it always needs some correction and that takes time, time for which we pay a high wage. When Harry’s work hits final finish, it is finished, we do not have to spend a nickel redoing it right.”
In everyday life when we start practicing the common sense/biblical philosophy of The Baker’s Dozen Life, our lot will improve, as will the lot of the entire country.
Copyright © 2015 Larry Lilly
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