JournalismPakistan.com March 16, 2013
We all want excellence. That goes without saying. Give us the best, we won’t settle for less. We hear it all the time. Every second fellow says it. Give me the best.
Great. Touches the heart. Makes you feel so good that everyone is engaged in this pursuit. Until it comes to payment time. Then the cookie crumbles soggily and everyone has that sudden desire to settle for seconds.
After all, who needs all these fancy schmancy stuff (so much for excellence) the less expensive option will do very nicely, thank you very much.
Expatland seems to have a special fascination for the adequate. We want excellence but we are not prepared to pay for it.
How many of us in the creative field have heard someone say, oh I can get this done cheaper, why should I pay you so much more.
Because I will give you a better result, a far superior end product.
Yes, yes, but who cares, who will even notice, what difference does it make if I can get something worthwhile cheaper, after all you think the people out there can make out which is very good and which is not.
So we insult the buyer, the maker, the seller, the candle stick-maker.
That’s just the point, isn’t it, you would know you settled for less than the best, won’t that upset you?
Not at all, where do you live, I will save money, let me be straight, this excellence thing is subjective, I pay you much more and then somebody may not find it excellent, so why should I bother.
You miss the point again, the aim is to pursue excellence, don’t you see, it is your own capacity to up the stakes and not settle for merely the adequate.
Who’s listening. Whether it is writing, advertising, fashion, theatre, art, science, decor, cuisine, furniture-making, the potter's wheel, the finish doesn’t count any more. There are few takers to honor that extra bit, that little leading edge that makes the excellent stand apart from the sufficient.
Why pay more for a perfectly made sofa when you can get an average one for half price. Why take an original when a copy will do? Why ask for an ad campaign that costs the earth when a cobbled effort could deliver ‘enough’ response. Why seek wordsmiths when hacks abound, why pay the trendsetter when the copycat is cheap and easily available.
The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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