I spent a couple of hours cleaning my Notre Dame playhouse the other day. It was quite a mess; hadn’t been organized for some time. I straightened the pews, relighted the votive candles, moved the priest from the sacristy to the confessional, replenished the Holy Water and separated the Brothers and Sisters (for some reason they always seem to end up together). I did all the things necessary to put a cathedral in good order.
When I finished I considered what I’d done and thought it was quite an accomplishment-maybe not on the scale of actually building Notre Dame-but still it was something.
Okay, so what does it mean to accomplish something? Does accomplishment occur if no one knows about it? And, as soon as someone finds out does judgment occur? And, then, if the accomplishment is deemed worthy do accolades follow? I doubt the Buddha meant, when he said to his disciples: ‘accomplishment is transient; strive unremittingly’, that they should pursue an ego boost.
The Stoics were pretty sure finding yourself in favor (which is certainly what would happen if people thought you did something good) wasn’t a good thing; once favored the only direction to go is down.
Well no one will probably know about my cathedral dollhouse cleaning anyway; it’s stuck back in a corner of the den. People rarely come by now that little Bobby entered the seminary.
So I guess I needn’t fear recognition for my accomplishment. But, I suppose I could take a few photos just to remember how nice it looks once it gets messy again. But, then, someone might see the photos and nominate me for the Good Playhouse Keeping Award. Then I’d be expected to keep it clean all the time and if I didn’t people would think I was a messy doll.
Boy, those old guys sure knew what they were talking about.