The Imperfect House: A Story to Reflect On
The story of the imperfect house tells that there was once a hopeful man who didn’t make a lot of money. He was hopeful in the sense that he had always imagined a better future for himself. He was a good, hardworking man who was always disciplined and did everything he had to do without taking too many breaks. His goal was to make more money, be able to provide for his family, and live comfortably.
This man only had temporary, underpaid jobs. Due to this, his family faced scarcity and financial difficulties. The story of the imperfect house tells that the man’s wife always blamed him for the situation. She always reproached her husband for not making enough money. They had almost nothing to eat and could never buy clothes or other essential goods. Thus, the man was always sad and anguished.
As the story of the imperfect house goes, a great businessman opened a large furniture factory in the town where they lived. The man was the first to apply for one of the positions. He hoped that this would make his wife value his hard work.
Although the man wasn’t educated, the contractor saw that he was a decent, hardworking person. Consequently, he decided to hire him and offer him a great salary.
The man and his wife were ecstatic. A new stage of their lives began at that moment. There was always food in the pantry and their children were able to focus on their schoolwork. Overall, their lives changed for the better.
An unexpected change
The man of the story tried to do his work in the best way possible. For that reason, he soon became the lead carpenter. His family had everything they ever wanted, so they started wasting money on unnecessary things. They no longer bought only what they needed. They even bought sumptuous furniture that didn’t quite go with their humble home.
However, the story of the imperfect house says that, one day, the owner of the factory realized that his business wasn’t yielding enough profit. As a consequence, he decided to close the factory and start a new business elsewhere. Easy come, easy go. The family of this story started having financial difficulties again. In spite of everything, the good man found another job soon. He became a bricklayer in a construction company and earned a modest salary.
His wife and children, who were already used to a better life, blamed the man. They didn’t want to go back to where they started. Thus, the man decided to ask for a raise. His boss told him that it was impossible at the moment, but that he’d consider giving him a raise in the future if he worked hard enough.
The story of the imperfect house: A reflection
The good man told his family what his boss told him, which upset them. They reminded him how hard he had worked at the factory, which didn’t even matter in the end because the company went out of business anyway. His family told him to learn from the past and not work so hard. At the end of the day, they could fire him at any moment.
At first, the man in our story ignored what they said. However, over time, those words began to take a toll on him. What was the point of trying so hard? From that moment on, he didn’t work so hard. He made houses with the worst materials available and didn’t pay attention to detail.
After working for many years, he finally decided to retire. When he informed his boss of his decision, he kindly asked him to build one last house. He built that last home reluctantly and with barely any interest. He only had his retirement in mind. When he finished, his boss went to check the house, gave him the keys, and said: “This home is for you”.
“Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.”
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- Díaz, G. (1987). Cómo tirar la casa por la ventana, de la desidia. Chile Vive: memoria activa, 34-37.