VALUE ADDED is one of those phrases that has come into our vocabulary in the past few years and has taken on a variety of meanings. It began as an extra incentive for customers to patronize a particular business or to buy a certain product. The store would “add value” without adding cost – an extended warranty – an extra feature – a longer return policy… It worked. People like to buy things if they get a little extra for their money.
The concept is true for all of life. If you give everyone your very best and then a little more, you will be appreciated and valued and will, ultimately, be successful. That philosophy is called (although not so much in recent decades) the “Protestant Work Ethic.” The idea came from John Calvin who taught that hard work is a sign of one’s salvation and that success is the sign that hard word was done (hard word does not bring salvation – it is the evidence of it). Whether we have a theological scheme behind what we do or not, it is still a pretty reliable maxim – give whatever you do your best effort and a little extra – success will not be far behind.