Words from a Father

Husband of One, Father of Four

Tag: excellence

512. Human Interest Story

There’s a difference between a human interest story and a human vanity story. We have not enough of the former, but an overload of the latter.

511. Quote: On Developing Taste, From the Film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. The quality of ingredients is important, but you need to develop a palate capable of discerning good and bad. Without good taste, you can’t make good food. If your sense of taste is lower than that of the customers, how will you impress them?

—From the film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

509. Five Attributes of a Great Chef, from the film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

“A great chef has five attributes.

1. They take their work very seriously, and consistently perform at the highest level.

2. They aspire to improve their skills.

3. Cleanliness: If the restaurant doesn’t feel clean, the food isn’t going to taste good.

4. Impatience: They are better leaders than collaborators.

5. A great chef is passionate.

Jiro has all five of these attributes. He’s a perfectionist.”

—From the film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

483. Keep Learning

Daughter, get as much education as you can. If anything ever happens to your husband, life will be up to you. Education is not your way out, it is your way forward.

Son, get as much education as you can. It is your job to provide the most security possible for your family. It is also your responsibility to encourage your wife to continue her education in case anything happens to you.

No excuses: Take care of her as well as you can while you are here; make sure she can take care of herself if you are gone.

This is modern-day chivalry. This is one way to honor your family.

474. Essay: Clearer Lines

For my drawing class I opted to draw the skeletons and the marble and plastic models rather than the nude model. I was prepared and more than willing to deal with the mockery and questions inevitably hurled my way from those steeped in a culture that no longer understands the concepts of restraint, dignity, and art. Here’s why.

Restraint

I believe it’s important to have boundaries for what you will and will not do. More important is knowing why you make those choices. For me, I don’t need to know intimately about any other woman than my wife. In fact, I doubt seriously that any marriage has been bettered by knowing more about another of the opposite gender than about their spouse. That’s how marriages are ended, not strengthened.

Dignity

I believe humans have immeasurable worth, both as individuals and as a distinct category of being.

Art

I believe art should reveal us to ourselves and invite us into the greater concepts to which we aspire: love, justice, mercy, truth, wonder, peace, selflessness. The greatest instances in the arts do not abandon us in the story at the height of displaying our selfishness, violence, or sensuality. They do not pursue those things for their sake alone, but neither do they erase all ambiguity, irony, and subtlety.

It takes precisely no talent to show a murder or nudity, but significantly more to hint at it without ever showing it in frame. (This is also how mystery and drama are well incorporated.) Even a cursory survey of seminal works reveals how the arts’ great pursuit is for the true, the good, and the beautiful.

I did not draw the nude model because that aspect of the assignment — the nudity itself — failed on multiple levels: it would not have brought me closer to truth, goodness, and beauty; it would not have revealed me to myself or invited me to “the aspirational perfections”; it would not have dignified the model, the medium, or myself; it would have short circuited my pursuit of artistic excellence; and it would have violated the boundaries and freedoms I now enjoy.

Clearer Lines

G.K. Chesterton said, “Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.” I would add that whenever art and morality intersect, those lines should be even clearer.

442. Classy

Classy is a dark pin-striped suit.

440. Well Spent

You should spend more time taming your tongue than taming your hair; more time training your thoughts than training with weights; more time taking in ideas than spelling out your own; more time seeking truth than gathering verbal ammunition; more time investing in others than seeking your fame; more time arguing for justice than arguing your case.

436. Full Life

The way to a full life is to spend it on the memorable and the eternal.

417. Quotes: Your Dad on How to Be

Think deeply then live greatly.

397. Quotes: Jack Moffett on Excellence

“Broken gets fixed. Shoddy lasts forever. Make sure it gets done right the first time. You never know when you’ll have the opportunity to revisit it.”

—From DesignAday.tumblr.com

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