In 1163 a man was walking along the river Seine in Paris when he noticed a huge new building site. He approached the site and found men laying bricks. It was late in the afternoon, and the workers were tired and sweating.
He asked one worker, “What are you building here?” He replied, “I’m just laying bricks.” He asked another worker, “What are you building here?” The worker scoffed and said to the man, “Are you blind? I’m building a wall.” Frustrated, the man began to walk away, but as he turned he bumped into one of the other men, who was also laying bricks. “What are you building here?” he asked.
The builder stopped working. He stepped back and beckoned the man to do the same. Then, looking up toward the sky, he said, “We are building a cathedral.”
“Cathedrals are beautiful,” the onlooker commented.
“You have never seen a cathedral this beautiful,” the bricklayer replied. “This will be the finest cathedral the world has ever seen. It will tower above the city, men and women will marvel at it, and people will come from all over the world just to see it.”
It took 182 years to finish that cathedral. Those who began building it never got to see it completed. It is 420 feet long, 157 feet wide, and 300 feet high, and with all of France’s rich history, incredible sights, and phenomenal art, it is still the most visited attraction in France each year. With thirteen million annual visitors, that is almost twice as many as the Eiffel Tower and four million more than the Louvre.
It is the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Men and women of all faiths and no faith come to visit Notre-Dame de Paris and marvel at it.
From The Culture Solution: A Practical Guide to Building a Dynamic Culture so People Love Coming to Work and Accomplishing Great Things Together
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