Sunday, April 30, 2017

On caring....................................

      I found the cause of the seizures a few weeks later, waiting to happen again.  It was a little twenty-five-cent pin in the internal oil-delivery system that had been sheared and was preventing oil from reaching the head at high speeds.
     The question why comes back again and again and has become a major reason for wanting to deliver this Chautauqua.  Why did they butcher it so?   These were not people running away from technology, like John and Sylvia.  These were technologists themselves.  They sat down to do a job and they performed it like chimpanzees.  Nothing personal in it.  There was not obvious reason for it.  And I tried to think back into that shop, that nightmare place, to try to remember anything that could have been the cause.
     The radio was a clue.  You can't really think hard about what you're doing and listen to the radio at the same time.   Maybe they didn't see their job as having anything to do with hard thought, just wrench twiddling. ...
     Their speed was another clue.  They were really slopping things around in a hurry and not looking where they slopped them. ...
     But the biggest clue seemed to be their expressions.  They were hard to explain.  Good-natured, friendly, easygoing - and uninvolved.  They were like spectators.  You had the feeling they had just wandered in there and somebody had handed them a wrench,  There was no identification with the job.  No saying, "I'm a mechanic." ...  And it occurred to me there is no manual that deals with the real business of motorcycle maintenance, the most important aspect of all.  Caring about what you are doing is considered either unimportant or taken for granted.
     On this trip I think we should notice it, explore it a little, to see if in that strange separation of what man is from what man does we may have some clues as to what the hell has gone wrong in this twentieth century.  I don't want to hurry it.  That itself is a poisonous twentieth-century attitude.  When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things.

-Robert M. Pirsig, as copied from Chapter 2 of Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance:  An Inquiry Into Values

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