Word of the Day: Commitment

I am still doing the Word of the Day, even though I haven’t been posting most of the words here. I find it to be a good meditation and a good way to start my day. Today’s word is commitment and the description/passage really applies to quiltmaking. I wanted to share it with you.

The WOTD book I use is called 365 Tao: Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao. I am not a Taoist and I think the word, Tao, in most of the passages can be replaced with another word such as spirituality or quiltmaking, depending on the context. Here is today’s passage:

‘One may be quite far along on the path, but if one meets a beginner who sincerely seeks guidance, then one should help without reservation. If such a beginner were to come to you, what would you say? This is what I said to someone today:

“The time of beginning is one of the most precious times of all. It can be very exciting and full of wonderful growth. The first thing to do is to make up your mind that you are going to go the distance.

“When I first began, I made a lifelong commitment. I determined that I would learn from my teacher for at least seven years. Now, it has been much longer than that, but the essential element is still the same: commitment.

“But commitment needs something else in order to be perpetuated. It needs discipline. This is the perseverance to keep on when things are tough. Adversity is life’s way of testing and perfecting a person. Without that, we would never develop character.

“Rice suffers when it is milled. Jade must suffer when it is polished. But what emerges is something special. If you want to be special too, then you have to be able to stick to things even when they are difficult.”

Commitment and discipline-these are two of the most precious words for those who would seek [Tao].’

A lot of the words and phrases in the passage feel right in terms of quiltmaking. I think they say a lot once I sat down and took the time to read them.

I think that this passage can be easily applied to quiltmaking. I don’t think everyone makes a really sincere commitment to quiltmaking when they start. I think it is ok to try a variety of different crafts and reject the ones that don’t appeal. Crafts are different from spirituality and religion, after all.

I do think, however, that once I decide on a media, that I should make some kind of commitment to progress. Making a commitment to progress doesn’t preclude having fun. I also think that I don’t have to always work on progressing. I don’t think buying fabric is as much of a commitment as some people think it is.

I also think that I can always learn something and one of the things that I like about quiltmaking is that there are many teachers, websites and books from which to learn. I think that no matter how accomplished a quiltmaker a person is, there is always room to grow.

I also think that commiting time to various aspects of quiltmaking and working on those regularly constitutes discipline. for me, discipline leads to progress.

For me, my fabric work is not always a walk in the park. I have projects that just do not work out. Remember Hop, Skip and Jump from December 2008? Remember all the blocks that I replaced in the Tarts, such as the yellow china tea cup?

In general, this is a passage that made me think about my quiltmaking, discipline and commitment.

Note: You can see the beginning of the WOTD project on the January 1 post. While I am still doing the project in my journal, I am only posting WOTDs here when they really related to something I have seen or done. My last WOTD post on February 1, 2009 explains a little about my thinking.