From Perfection to Perfection

There are times in our experience when we are tempted to think that the little things in life are not very important. The small, uninteresting daily task is often done as a matter of course, and without any special thought being given to it. This is a mistake, because the little things contribute to the harmonious whole and so are important in themselves.

Often I have looked back on an experience I had when working as a winder in a cotton mill. The chief work of a winder is to make knots, and these knots must be made very small, otherwise they will cause extra work and loss for the beamer who has to follow on. One day, being anxious to get a certain amount of work done, I began to be careless about the size of my knots, and was letting them go over the machine without correction.

My father, who, unknown to me, was standing near, saw what I was doing. He made me take back my work, and said to me: "Never do that again. Remember the one who has to follow you, and remember also that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing right." He also told me that the little things are what count all the way through the mill. If the winder is careless, the beamer suffers; if the beamer is careless, the taper suffers; and if the taper is careless, the weaver suffers most of all; and the cloth at the finish is not as perfect as it otherwise would be.

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God, Not Men, Governs Every Man
November 4, 1944

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