The thing built is less important than those doing the building.
In fact, the real value in anything is the individual.
Because the physical is temporal, we find comfort in measuring the creation. Less comfortable is acknowledging the intangible value of the creator.
Silver Bullets and Silver Platters are two of the greatest dangers known to humankind. The idea, that Magic and Coattails can remediate anything, holds us back from our true destiny. We learn by doing and the fun is in the doing.
Regardless of how we define success, there is a Secret to its acquisition: It must be built.
Happiness, peace of mind, abundant resources, ample opportunities, great relationships, and contentment are included in my definition of success. All of those attributes are a choice to be made each morning and their achievement is only possible by my conscious decision to produce. As my head touches the pillow each evening, only, I can know the quality of effort for that day.
Others will judge what they can see and measure — the Empire. Regardless of what is built, it begins to decay at the moment it is finished. Within families, I see this every day. Senior builds an empire and then expects Junior to maintain it. How silly! We all want to be builders. More than what is built, the joy is in — the how and why of doing — the construction.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a song is worth at least a million. For those who are builders, this song by John Conlee from his Harmony album reminds us of the value:
Let us now praise the carpenter and the things that he made
And the way that he lived by the tools of the trade
I can still hear his hammer singin’ ten-penny time
Workin’ by the hour till the day that he died
He was tough as a crowbar; he was quick as a chisel
Fair as a plane, Lord, and true as a level
He was straight as a chalk-line; right as a rule
He was square with the world; he took good care of his tools
He worked his hands in wood from the crib to the coffin
With a care and a love that you don’t see too often
He built boats out of wood, big boats, workin’ in a shipyard
Mansions on the hill and a birdhouse in the backyard
He was tough as a crowbar…
He said anything that’s worth cuttin’ down a tree for
Is worth doin’ right; don’t the Lord love a two-by-four
If you asked him how to do somethin’, he’d say like Noah built the ark
You got to hold your mouth right son and never miss your mark
And you’ll be tough as a crowbar…
Maybe that’s why, two thousand years ago, the Son of a carpenter encouraged others to build. At His death, the physical creations left behind began their decay. What continues to grow — to this very moment, and beyond — are the relationships He formed in love.
We have the opportunity to build on that foundation. What we build is our choice. How we do it is more important. Why we make our choices will be the legacy of memories.
Long after our masterpieces become relics of the past, the relationships we form, today, will be the beginning of foundations for those who are influenced by our commitment to build.
Empires come and go, because they are made of stuff.
Builders last for forever, because their actions are making the world a better place.
That, my friends is a legacy for all of eternity.