A piece of sunshine

On thoroughness

In one of the dreams during my annual spiritual exercises, I saw my mother looking through the leftover ears of sorghum that I put aside on the manure bush after the first harvest of the ears.

My mother held the ears again one by one in silence and harvested the leftovers from them. She didn't mention anything about her behavior, she just made an effort to harvest thoroughly so as not to waste any grain. As the work progressed, more grains came out of the leftover harvests.

Looking at the symbolic gesture of my mother, I immediately realized that I had not been thorough enough when doing translation work.

After the first draft of my translation, I usually read the text at least two or three times further before finishing my work. When I have to go through the text again the fourth or fifth time, I feel so exhausted that I sometimes don't like to look at it again.

As a result, I just hand over the manuscript to the person in charge. Then, usually later on, I or somebody else has to review to check if there is something wrong or insufficient, especially when the text is of particular importance.

I always feel that I need more perseverance to bring about a good result.

I remember an elderly pottery craftsman who used to break all the pottery that didn't reach his standards. Until the ultimate moment of finding the most perfect work of art, he kept baking pottery in the earth kiln. Such is the thorough spirit of craftsmanship.

"Thoroughness" means that there are no gaps or deficiencies from the bottom to the bottom.

As we can see, doing things roughly and hurriedly has tragically resulted in serious disasters such as the collapse of the Sampoong Department Store or the sinking of the Sewol ferry.

When I was in Singapore, one of the things that I learned most consciously is the mentality of thorough planning with the considerate and thoughtful process of preparation.

Before applying the plan to the real situation, Singaporeans usually test the planning strategy through thorough study over the years. Of course, in the meantime, they attentively listen to others' opinions and apply the planning to see if it fits the goal of the project.

Even though they lack natural resources and geography, nobody would deny that they have become one of the most substantial countries in the world. Now, Singapore is the center of finances and the economy in Asia.

I think the secret of their successful survival is their thorough and landmark planning ability. This spirit of being thorough is like the spirit of loving the Lord, our God, "with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength" (Mark 12:30). If we do our work with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength, there will not be as much failure or disaster.

Let us get it done with a sense of thorough spirit. Doing the job with all our heart and with all our strength, our society and the world will be different as well.

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