The first section of Pillars of the Earth has already begun to delve into one of the overall themes that I have heard relates significantly to this book, ambition. Ambition is a wonderful and powerful quality. It is respected among men and admired in women. In the book, Tom Builder, has so much ambition to become a builder of great cathedrals, “once he tasted that wine, Tom was never satisfied with anything less.” His strong desire to build these cathedrals was of great concern to his wife. She respected his life’s passion and his ambitious pursuit of success, even if it was to the detriment of their financial stability. She could not understand the decision but she respected her husband because he was a good man.
However, ambition can turn ugly when the person driving that ambition does not respect the people in his life. This fall from grace is not a charming or gracious quality. It turns quickly from ambition to greed and selfishness. Pursuing your life’s passion with great abandon is about creating a path towards fulfillment, but if you arrive there alone, knowing you have hurt everyone who tried to stand beside you, your path to ambition will have been unsuccessful and your life’s journey will have been a failure.
Be ambitious, but also be gracious, caring, loving and kind. Be sensitive and inspired and devoted. As the picture says, the world makes way for those who know where they are going. Where ever you are going, go there with love in your heart.