When We Build, Let Us Think That We Build Forever
Posted on July 9, 2014 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
Here is a scanned page from a weathered, termite bitten book called Audel’s Carpenters and Builders Guide #4, first published in 1923 and reprinted in 1947.
It is a practical illustrated trade assistant on “modern” construction for carpenters, joiners, builders, mechanics and all wood workers.
The intro reads:
When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for the present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, “See! This our father did for us.”
– John Ruskin
I found that very interesting, and because I am a romantic, very poetic as well.
This hinges on my blog about legacies back in April, “What will your legacy be?” In this throw-away day and age, one could only hope that remnants of one’s work will be remembered and cherished with every bit of sentiment as Ruskin wrote. I get that feeling when I visit museums, see old homes that are full of life today, paintings from the masters that due to fine restoration, seem freshly painted and time has no effect on them.
Between the lines is another sentiment; PRIDE. Without even using the word, “pride,” Ruskin seems to insinuate it within every line, especially, “work as our descendants will thank us for” as descendants will be proud of their forefathers’ work.
I would hope that we find that same sentiment in the work we do today. From offices and computer work, to construction, and factories, we should all have a sense of pride in what we do for a living. Let us not lose our humanity to the point that we believe our work today will not be appreciated tomorrow. Otherwise, what’s the use?
A little humor here: In the book, Chapter 57 is about termite protection.