Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The Pride Factor...

Cross Stitchers are a proud bunch. It’s funny how that word has come to have a negative meaning in so many ways. To call someone proud is to imply that they are boastful or somehow full of themselves. “Proud as a Peacock” isn’t a compliment... and yet today was one of those days when I wish that more of the world had the kind of pride that stitchers do.

Remember when things were built to last? Remember when most of the world actually took pride in a job well done and not that it was done as quickly and as cheaply as possible... or with as little effort and expense as you could get away with?

Trying to teach my girls to take pride in the things they do, even the smallest of tasks felt like a foreign concept today. From the knock off/copyright infringements that a local store was selling as “the real thing” to trying to explain to Erin why something should be neat and readable as well as just “done” hearing a friend complain about a new purchase that is already falling apart after a few months.... I spent most of the day wondering if most people are really proud of the work that they do anymore?

Cross stitchers are proud... the GOOD kind of proud. I look at so many of the beautiful pieces, made up of so many careful stitches and I know that they still take pride in something that they love. I once explained to an interviewer that when you are working on a piece for someone as a gift, you can’t help but think about that person and the fond memories that you have or the feelings you have for that individual. Each stitch becomes like a tiny prayer or wish... and if you look at how many stitches make up some of the pieces given as gifts... that is a LOT of “I LOVE YOUs”!

I read a book a few years ago about a female artist who went to live among the Amish for a summer. Though she knew that she would never be a part of their culture and world, she still came away from her stay with an incredible respect of how they lived their faith in almost every moment of the day. Any task, however menial, was worth doing properly and beautifully. While I doubt I will ever jump for joy at how well I have dusted or scrubbed... I still felt an echo of what the author was trying to convey ... whatever you do, it is worth doing to the best of YOUR ability (not to measure up against some impossible standard but to the best of your ability on that given day at that moment) and to rejoice that you are ABLE to do it.

I think that more of the world needs to take PRIDE in what they do and learn from stitchers or other creative souls.

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