This man’s job includes watering the hundred year old Ginko tree. He stood in this spot watering the tree for several moments, until the job was done. He took great pride in cleaning up around the tree, checking the bark, then worked on watering it. It was a very hot, very muggy day, yet he never seemed to be bothered by any of that. He was focused on a job well done.
For some of us, the thought of watering a tree seems like a useless activity. The rain will come or Mother Nature will take care of it. Somehow the tree has survived for more than a century, so why worry about watering it? Yet for this man, it seemed to be an important part of his purpose. I have no idea how many days of the week he spends time watering this tree, I’m not sure it matters. The tree seems to be thriving, so obviously what he is doing is working.
How many times do we judge the value of a job then decide how much effort we are going to put into completing it? Boring tasks, useless processes, trivial updates or endless meetings…they all can seem like a waste of time. They absorb our days and we may take no pride in doing them. If we do not do them, would anyone notice? Do we see any meaning in them or a result of our work? If we do not, what is our attitude about doing those things each and every week? Sort of like watering a century old tree. If we don’t do it someone else will?
Or should our attitude be that no matter the task, if it is worth doing it is worth doing well? That is such a powerful statement, and yet can be hard to maintain each and everyday during boring or apparently useless tasks. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well. If we spend our time on it, then why not do it well? When we find ourselves challenged by boring or useless tasks and an attitude developing, time to think about this man. Are you willing to do the mundane with the same passion and effort as your exciting tasks?
This tree has survived for over a century, probably because someone watered it on a regular basis. Over time their minor efforts allowed us to enjoy the shade of this beautiful tree. When the mundane gets to you, think about who will benefit from your efforts in the future…it might not end up feeeling so mundane.