Polishing Lenses for His Whole Life

Wang Yanan

PureInsight | February 24, 2008

[PureInsight.org] There was a
young peasant in Holland who, when he had just graduated from middle
school, came to a small town and found a job with the local government
as watchman. He worked at the same job for more than sixty years, never
leaving the little town or changing his job.

Perhaps his job was too leisurely and he was too young so he had some
free time. He chose the time-consuming and laborious work of lens
polishing as his hobby. As such a hobbyist, he continued to polish and
polish for sixty years. He was so absorbed in his work and worked so
perseveringly and meticulously that his skill surpassed the experts in
the field. The magnification of the compound lenses he made exceeded
those done by the experts. Because of his work, he discovered a brand
new world, the world of microorganisms. Henceforth, his reports of his
observations shocked the world. Even though he only had a middle school
education, he was elected as an academician by the Paris Academy of
Sciences. The Queen of England even came to the little town to visit

This originally little-known person was Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
(1632-1723), who became a famous expert in microscopy and a pioneer in
microbiology. He conscientiously polished every lens and devoted his
lifetime to doing every prosaic detail. He created his science from his
detail work and developed a vast panorama from it.

Young people are often restless to varying degrees. They stay on a job
for not very long and feel that they have learned everything and want
to change their job. Can it really be so? Every flower has its own
world and every piece of sand its own heaven. Can you do every little
thing at hand to perfection?

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