Thursday, March 1, 2012

value and achievement

The wizened king, standing in front of the altar of his material achievement, carefully counting his wealth. Is it still there, all of it? Is it enough? And the nubile youth, standing on the pedestal, balancing that ornate urn on her head, surrounded by others; she stares into the distance listlessly.

The two of these make me think a bit about the value of ostensibly valuable things. There is, of course, that oh so well known bit about money not buying happiness, and that's true enough. Material things that you can buy with the money don't necessarily bring joy either. That is also, I've found, quite true...

But really, what comes to mind here is is not, after all, the only thing we think of in that way, the only "coin" as it were that we seek so desperately to earn, achieve, keep. Achievement and value have an interesting relationship in that way...
In my own life, well. This has been a rather hellishly busy week. After having a rather personally difficult, draining, stressful weekend, the week has important memorandum paper due, a history research paper proposal due, an arabic exam to take, a book review due, an presentation to do, all of it in three days. Just gotten through the last of it; I'm pretty sure I did well enough, possibly even did Good. I should feel accomplished, I know.

Mostly though, I just feel terribly tired and drained. Especially since there's more still left in my tomorrow, and so many errands I must get through, and academic reading to make up still, and...I just feel so tired of it all. Situations in which the cost of gaining that which you value is so high that by the time you get it, you don't have the energy for enthusiasm, for real appreciation.

You force yourself to stand on the pedestal: look at me, doing what I am supposed to do. You count the coins you have worked so hard to get: mine, mine, mine this accomplishment, yes.


Marina said...

I think both these cards also relate to the conflict between accomplishments you can see and accomplishments you cannot see. Sometimes we reach goals or overcome problems that are inside us and it makes all the difference... but because other cannot see it (or we cannot see the immediate practical rewards), we fail to fully congratulate ourselves for them.

And yet often they are the accomplishments that allow us to achieve the external goals.

I hope you do find sometime to rest in such busy time! Good luck! :-)

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