Stewardship Resource

The Stewardship of Time

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  • Author: Richard Russo lives in costal Maine and has written five novels: Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Nobody's Fool, Straight Man, Empire Falls andThe Whore's Child.
  • Updated: 02/22/2010
  • ISBN: 0-375-72640-3
  • Copyright: Vintage Books

Mrs. Whiting, a character in the novel, Empire Falls, is known to get things done.  Her secret is her organizational habit which ends up making her an excellent steward of time.


The Stewardship of Time
From Empire Falls
By Richard Russo

In Empire Falls, Mrs. Whiting is protrayed as a powerful persons whose influence dominates the community.  She is known as someone who gets things done. 

Grace works for Mrs. Whiting.  She has never encountered a woman like her and realized to "completely withhold her admiration of her was impossible.  After months of close observation, she discovered her great trick. 

"Mrs. Whiting remained undaunted for the simple reason that she never, ever allowed herself to dwell on the magnitude of whatever she was confronted with.  What she possessed was the marvelous ability to divide the chore into smaller, more manageable tasks. 

"Once this diminishment was accomplished, her will became positively tidal in its persistence.  Each day Mrs. Whiting had a 'To Do' list, and the brilliance of that list lay in the fact that she was careful never to include anything undoable.

"On those rare occasions when a tasks proved more complicated or difficult than she'd imagined, she simply subdivided it.  In this fashion, the woman never encountered anything but success, and each day she brought her inexorably closer to her goal. 

"She might be delayed, but she was never deterred."

From Empire Falls, Richard Russo, Vintage Books, 2001.

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