A bad workman always blames his tools
A bad workman always blames his tools.
The meaning of this proverb is ….our success does not depend on what Kind of tools we have but how we use them.
A person may have all the equipments in the world but if he does not know how to use them he can never complete a job successfully. Whereas a person who can make effective use of what is available with him can make a success of any work given to him.
The same can be said of real life situations too. We must learn to hone our talents and tabs maximum benefit out of them and not blame destiny or fate when something goes wrong.
Kumar and Ravi were two farmers who were neighbours. Both owned a pair of oxen each with which they ploughed their land. Kumar worked hard all day long in order to get a good yield and looked after his oxen very well since he knew that they were very important for his farming activity
Ravi on the other hand was a very lazy and a miser who never fed his oxen properly but extracted maximum work from them and kept complaining that they were not doing a good job.
As a true friend Kumar advised and pointed out to Ravi that it was cruel to ill-treat the animals which were helping him make a living. Ravi paid little heed to Kumar's words. He soon bought a tractor to plough his land and chased the oxen away since he no longer needed them. Taking pity on the poor animals Kumar took them under his wing although he could ill-afford to maintain them.
The monsoon soon arrived and it was time for cultivation. Kumar’s land was well ploughed and ready for cultivation - thanks to his oxen. Ravi in his miserly fashion had not maintained his tractor well and it kept giving him trouble. With the result, he could not get his land ready for cultivation on time.
He lamented and blamed it all on bad luck not realizing that it was he who was responsible for his miserable state. Ravi not only lost out on a good yield by his laziness but also spent more money than required to repair his tractor due to poor maintenance.
Despite having better equipment Ravi was unable to get the best results, whereas Kumar was a good workman and hence was able to succeed with the limited resources that he had.
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The proverb, if properly understood, and interpreted, is a valuable guide to practical life. We cannot always find every convenience for doing a job. There are many difficulties that have to be overcome. The incompetent man always grumbles. He finds nothing to his liking. He makes this and excuse for his poor performance and incompetent work. He thinks less of what can be done than of the conditions of work, which are never to his liking. He does not know how to make the most of the existing conditions. In our language, it has been said that the bad dancer finds fault with the courtyard (for dancing).
But a good workman always takes everything sportingly and turns things to his advantage. He knows that he cannot have everything to his own choice. He sets himself to the task of removing his difficulties. A good workman always makes for success. He knows there are difficulties, but he knows also that they are to be overcome with persistence and intelligence, with adoptability.
In order, therefore, not to quarrel with one's tools or complain about difficulties regarding the conditions of work, or bad luck, a good workman has to develop certain mental qualities that make it unnecessary for him to complain. In the first place, he must be self-reliant. He must have faith that he also can do what others have done.
Secondly, he must be alert and intelligent. He must develop initiative and resourcefulness. If his tools are bad, he knows they can be mended, not by grumbling, but by removing the defects. If circumstances are not favourable, he moulds them to his requirements. Thirdly, he always remembers that toil and struggle lead to success, that 'patience and perseverance can do away with or overcome mountains'. His determination, his self-confidence, his cheerful optimism, wins him friends.
In our country, it is more than ever necessary to learn this lesson. We are often apt to be easy-going; we have not the strenuous will, the iron resolution. We want others to provide the tools. We forget that some of the greatest discoveries and inventions in science have been made with simple instruments devised by the scientists, like Sir J. C. Bose themselves. If the tools are unsatisfactory, it may even be a blessing in disguise; for it prompts us to use our brains. We search for and discover new ways and means. Whether we succeed or fail, we learn much from experience which itself is of no small account. Diligence leads to invention.
A good workman, instead of finding fault with his tools, sets about devising them. Everything is possible in life for the sincere worker. For the man who complains about his tools is really a shirker or coward at heart. Since he is unable or unwilling to do his part, he is all the time on the lookout for some handy means or excuse to bear the blame of his own failures.
External conditions may not always be altered or improved upon, but we can remedy our own defects and shortcomings. The course may be difficult, but it is really very effective.