My father made me watch him build the fire hundreds of times. He had led the operation for years not once letting me do anything other than collect sticks that he wouldn’t burn until he had the fire going. He said they were too thick.
“In order to start a fire, you must understand it on the smallest scale,” he told me. “The match, the air in your lungs, and the individual fibers of a stick.” He also made sure I understood that building a fire is a responsibility. “It’s like a skittish child,” he said, “it will run away on you or disappear altogether.” That responsibility was the rule of completion: once you start a fire, you are there until it’s out.
I think the most beautiful lesson I learned from building fire the way my father taught me is that success in a thing requires an enormous amount…
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