Keeping Up With The Prices
Sitting in my car at a red light, I fought the urge to check my cell phone messages and decided to just take a look around. I found myself squinting at a historic marker in front of me and was so fascinated by what I read that I missed the light change until I was honked into consciousness (I was not on my phone!).
Guys like Joseph Price (1753-1828) exist to keep the rest of us humble. The plaque outside his stone colonial home commemorated his many skills and contributions to society:
Quaker Farmer. Innkeeper. Undertaker. Militiaman. Diarist. Saw Mill Operator. Milestone Installer. Carpenter. Turnpike Supervisor. Patriot. Concerned Citizen.
(Could the saw mill operation have been a feeder market for the undertaker business...?).
It made me think of a memorable rhyming quote from Adam Savage who said, “Jack of all trades, master of none, though often better than a master of one.”
Who is Adam Savage, you may ask?
Special Effects Designer/Fabricator. Actor. Educator. Toy Designer. Gallery Owner. Television Personality.
Another one of “those guys.”
I’d love to be one of “those guys.”
But I also see the merit in being “a master of one.”
It takes a long time to perfect and establish a reputation for one profession or passion, whatever that might be. But it's a big world out there if you take the time to look around (and stay off your phone).
Joseph Price moved from, "gig to gig," but unlike a millennial, he did it without the benefit of a computer, website or app.
A father of eight children, he was considered a renaissance man in his community and spent a lifetime building what we now call a "personal brand” (but something tells that wasn't his motivation).
What I liked about that simple plaque was how it summarized a life in only a few words. And what a wildly unconventional life it was.
A few days later I ran across a line in a poem that read, "Tell me, what is your plan to do with your one wild and precious life."
I think a New Year is a good time to start envisioning that plaque.