Beyond quality

I was on a guided tour in a Jewish synagogue recently – one whose quality was clearly poor.

The tour was in English, and the guide’s command over the language wasn’t good. Further, her thoughts and explanations were all over the place. And every question or comment would take her off on a tangent entirely unrelated to whatever she had just started to present.

However, the group ended up enjoying it. The reason here was that everybody could see how strongly she felt about her Jewish heritage, and how she channeled feeling into the tour. I bet that despite its poor quality, the tour would have received a good rating.

We can define and measure quality. But we can also sense such things as effort, enthusiasm and emotional labour. Meaningful experience requires quality, but is enriched because of what we can only sense.

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