Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality.
People who have accomplished work worthwhile have had a very high sense of the way to do things. They have not been content with mediocrity. They have not confined themselves to the beaten tracks; they have never been satisfied to do things just as others so them, but always a little better. They always pushed things that came to their hands a little higher up, this little farther on, that counts in the quality of life's work. It is constant effort to be first-class in everything one attempts that conquers the heights of excellence.
One may, with Hartshorne and other rationalist philosophers, press rationality to the point of postulating certain necessary truths for which we have no conceivable alternatives. Or, like Buddhist thinkers of many periods-and like Wieman, too-one may find in the very conditions of contingency a religious significance that informs the whole quality of life as lived. Contingency embraced without any nostalgia or yearning for necessary truth yields a different quality of life than contingency assented to as necessarily so in the absence of any conceivable alternative.
Surely ruminating and lolling, squandering slivers of time as you ponder on this or that plant; perching about the place on seats chosen for their essential and individual quality, are other whole aspects of being a gardener. Why shouldn't we? We sit in other people's gardens, why not in our own.