Saturday, January 12, 2013
To Begin is to be Half Done
A famous movie director, who would begin shooting his film before having a completed scenario, was asked by a journalist why he did not complete his preparation before beginning the camera work. He said that there is no time at any beginning where you have a perfectly complete picture of what you want to do. Writing in Bible & Life; a poet tells us he had difficulty in understanding the words of the director, as conveyed by the journalist, considering them wildly wrong-headed. He reveals in his article how he came to a new understanding of his words.
He doesn't know when but he came to realize that the beginning of something is actually part of the preparation. Nowadays, the words of the director give him courage: the beginning of anything, he realized, is when you commit yourself to do something, for then you are preparing for whatever comes after, which takes courage and a trusting attitude. With this kind of thinking, you tend to have confidence in the work and your expectation becomes greater.
Poets often say that a poem came to them. The writer says that this has not been his experience; he is always in search of a poem. If he had to wait for a poem to come, he said he would never have anything. It is only in the beginning, armed with the intention to write, that a poem comes to him. Song writers and other creative artists, he also mentioned, have had the same experience.
The director is right by noting the importance of the beginning, he said. To begin when everything is prepared is perfectly alright; beginning and preparing is equally alright. If in the moment a person wants to see some beautiful flowers and decides to plant flower seeds, it is then too late. When you do not see the flowers, is when you plant.
It is not rare that a great deal of time is spent in thinking and in preparation and never beginning. Like drawing water from a well, you have to decide first to go to the well. It is said that to make a tablespoon of honey the bee has to return to a flower to gather its nectar about 4,200 times: the doing is what makes the honey.
The Japanese winner of the Noble prize in physics said that if you don't try, you will never know what you can do. He also said "Look for any work that you can do, don't be afraid, and do it." The writer also mentions a famous industrialist who would often say to his workers, "Did you try doing it? Do not say it is difficult without trying it."
The writer reminds us that we are usually more sorry for what we haven't done than for what we have done. We should do, he says, whatever it is we set out to do and do it to the best of our ability. When you want to drink some water and can't find the water cup, you don't give up drinking but use whatever is available, be it a whiskey glass or a food dish. That is doing something to the best of your ability.
Nothing in life is done perfectly. When we want to do something, it is best not to wait for the best of times, but to begin doing it now.