I once had a mentor, teacher, co-worker, who would often say “quality, quality,quality” as the simple answer to some question about what to do or was a job done well enough. For the years I worked there it rang in my head and made me go back to redo a million little and big things that were shoddy or rushed.
Today I talked to a friend I havent seen in years, one who at 22 already had the worn hands of a sailor long at sea and eyes begining to wrinkle at the edges from time in the sun and wind. She was a person who put all of her energy and care into everything she touched, and did so silently, with an almost painful modesty and quiet perseverance. That was the embodyment of quality and craftsmanship and has always been endlessly inspiring to me.
Now she runs about on boats from Alaska to the South Pole, so its hard to track her down, but even her voice over the phone made me unconsciously stand up a little straighter and take another look at the thing on my work table that I didnt quite love but was about to send out into the world anyway, an “its good enough” under my breath.
I want to take more care.