Good work

In the early 1970s, I had a poster with this quote from John Gardner:

An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society that scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

I was studying philosophy in New York City, I volunteered about once a week at the office of the Catholic Peace Fellowship. I got to know a few members of the staff, including Bill.

One day I shared the quote with him. He smiled and noted that he was a plumber!

Good work is what we need – regardless of the type of work. Scorning those who work with their hands is an affront to God and to humanity – and especially to Jesus, the Word made Flesh, who worked with his hands in the workshop of Joseph his father.

So this week say thank you to someone who works with her hands. The world needs them.







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