Value of work

One day a woman spotted Pablo Picasso in the market and pulled out a piece of paper. “Mr. Picasso,” she said excitedly. “I’m a big fan. Please, could you do a little drawing for me?” Picasso happily complied and quickly etched out a piece of art for her on the paper provided. He then smiled as he handed it back to her. “That will be a million dollars,” “But Mr. Picasso,” the woman replied, flustered, “It only took you thirty seconds to do this little masterpiece.” “My good woman,” Picasso laughed, “It took me thirty years to do that masterpiece in thirty seconds.”

(From Know Your “Genius Point” by Robin Sharma)

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19 thoughts on “Value of work

  1. Extremely nice on the part of this great painter!
    Long ago when a kid saw Sunil Gavaskar at West End Hotel Bengaluru, he stood by him to enable his dad to click a photo, but this ‘hero’ instead of posing with the kid walked away in a huff!

    • Nagesh, are you sure that this incident actually took place? If yes, there must be more to it than meets the eye.

      Some years back, when a test match was going on, coincidentally in Bangalore, my friend’s son expressed a desire to meet Sunil Gavaskar. In the evening, my friend took his son on his two-wheeler to the hotel where the Indian team was staying. The hotel staff refused to disclose Gavaskar’s room number, but passed on a message to Gavaskar that there was a 10-years-old boy and his father who would like to meet him. Gavaskar immediately came down to the lobby, spoke with the boy and his father, gave an autograph and posed for a photograph. I am 100% sure that this incident took place.

  2. Reminds me of a quote I read long back, attributed to Michelangelo, the great sculptor. I dont remember the exact words, but the essence was just this that if people knew how much pain he had put behind all those ‘ easy’ creations, it wouldn’t look easy at all.
    The value of work, and the effect of hardwork. There’s nothing wrong in what Pablo said. Expertise doesn’t come easy, and we need to value the work behind it!

    • Absolutey, Sreeja. We don’t value the hard work and the time that has gone into acquiring expertise.

      I’ve experienced this a number of times as a service provider, and once as a customer. I shall share these in posts in the near future.

  3. This reminds me of a nice joke. Dare I reproduce it here? You decide.

    A woman placed a limp duck onto a veterinary surgeon’s table.

    The vet pulled out his stethoscope, listened to the bird’s chest, and said sadly,”I’m sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.”

    The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”

    “Yes. The duck is dead,” replied the vet.”

    How can you be so sure?” she protested. “You haven’t done any tests, and he might just be in a coma.”

    The vet rolled his eyes, left the room and returned with a black Labrador. As the duck’s owner looked on, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.The vet took the dog out of the room.

    He then returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also sniffed the bird. The cat then shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

    The vet said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely a dead duck.”

    The vet turned to his computer and produced a bill for the woman.

    The duck’s owner took the bill…. “$150!” she cried, “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”

    The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry. If you had taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, But with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it’s now $150.”

  4. What a lovely little story, Pro. And it’s so true. It’s amazing how people will take the services of professionals for granted. Recently someone asked us for a reference for a lawyer, and then she wondered if she could meet him at a coffee shop near her house! It seemed so far for her to go to his office. It was quite difficult for me to get her to see why he wouldn’t do that. 🙂

  5. This is excellent! Reminds me of another one- where the carpenter charges 1 Re for actually hitting the nail & 99 Rs for knowing where exactly to hit it! 🙂

    Keep sharing these lovely works!

  6. I have read this somewhere before. And good that you shared it here. We see the cost of artists work but we fail to see his years of struggle and wisdom and dedication behind that cost… This is an awesome post!!!

  7. So true! We need to value the time and effort it took for people to get where they are today! My Chiropractor takes 15 to 30 minutes to do what seems easy for him but it took him years of study and practice to be as effective as he is.

  8. That was profound!
    yes.. Value of work is something most folks neglect.. which is why Software engineers are required to stay back late.. the later the hrs, the more “popular” the engineer is! :-/

  9. Wow!! That’s really a good one. Like they say, if you don’t know your own worth and value, then don’t expect someone else to calculate it for you!!

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