5/22/13

Grit . . .

If you look up "grit" in the dictionary you will find five different meanings (at least that is what my copy of the good ol' MW shows). One is (when capitalized) a political affiliation in Canada. Three variances on the expected - references to granules, sandpaper, and stones. The final one is the nuanced which is a "firmness of mind and spirit."

That's the one you probably expect this blog post to be about - carry on. Chin up. Believe in the best. Work for the best. Chase the girl/guy/mistress/fantasy football draft pick. Never give up. Never surrender. There - you're right. But this post is NOT about that . . . it is about the sandpaper grit . . .

Let me elaborate . . . sandpaper comes in many different "grits" - which is to say the density of the particles that serve to refine the surface applied to. A very coarse/rough grit of - let's say 20 - is good for removing bulk materials (rust off metal, initial pass of finish on a surface, etc.) and a very fine/smooth grit of - let's say 200) is 10x as refined as the "very coarse" and is good for things like sanding one layer of a top coat for irregularities. Every visible substance on earth (including bubbles and panes of glass) have grit, technically. It could be a decimal .0000000000000000001 versus a whole number but it has some roughness to it. It COULD be used against something.

Why am I rambling on about grit in a spirit and zest that only my junior high shop teacher might enjoy or appreciate? Because I think the average person out there has no idea what their grit is or how to use it.

Again - NOT talking about character and resolve - I'm talking about the ability to know what we're capable of and to handle ourselves accordingly. Some of us are coarse (me). We'll just gnaw the scenery, and shake stuff up, and push and shove to reach goals, and - if needed - leave (figurative) bruises and skids. A portion of us are very fine. We are good at making the shiny ready to shine even more and we're goodness and refinement. A vast majority of us are somewhere in the middle but while I think the "very coarse" and the "very fine" know their grit - I don't think the average person has any clue because they don't think of themselves as the sandpaper. They see themselves as the piece of furniture just bought at the tag sale because it is brimming with "potential." Screw that. Be the paper. Let elbow grease and resistance be your calling card. Remove the bad. Make way for the good. Enable betterment. Let the potential of that hardwood armoire that has been painted six times over and has "updated" hardware come through because you reminded it of what it really was and still is.

I guess maybe this post was about character and resolve after all.