Take 5: 27 April 2015 by Ms Sheryl Ong Swee Lee
Good morning school. For today’s Take 5, I would like to share with you a story about the importance of integrity. It is a story about a carpenter and the last house that he built.
The Carpenter’s House (from inspirationpeak.com)
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer, who was a contractor, of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.
He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.
When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house, The contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”
What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.
So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realised that we would have done it differently.
Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. Think about life as a do-it-yourself project, your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.
Likewise this week as we begin with the Mid-Year Exams, don’t shortchange yourself like the carpenter by not putting in your best effort. The exams are a process and not a means to an end. Last Monday Ms Yee shared how integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. Integrity impacts the choices you make and the attitude you have determines the house you will build. To quote the school creed, “as many hands build a house, so many hearts make a school.” What kind of house will you build?