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NEWS | May 17, 2017

The village wine and the importance of personal contribution

By Navy Cmdr. Brett A. Pugsley, commanding officer Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston

During my days in university, I came across a short reading from an unknown author which greatly impacted my performance on every task or job since.  It applies to every position in every command and describes what can happen at a command if people don’t feel their work is important enough or their contribution significant enough to make a difference. 


The Village Wine


A triumphal feast was scheduled in a village and, in order to ensure that all might enjoy in the feast without imposing upon any few, the villagers all agreed each would put one bottle of his best wine into a great cask for the occasion.


However, upon reflection, one villager reasoned that, if he filled his bottle with water, the dilution would be so slight, no one would notice.


So, the day of the feast arrived, and the great cask was tapped and wonder of wonders...nothing but water poured forth!


Every villager had reasoned alike – my contribution isn’t big enough to be noticed!


Obviously, the moral of the story is all contributions, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, are important and necessary for the overall success of the celebration, unit, organization or command.


As members of the United States military, we all are part of a much larger organization tasked with the important mission of defending our country and ensuring the nation’s freedom. While carrying out our daily professional duties, large and small, we need to remember all of our work is important and our contributions do make a difference.