I’ve been wondering what “accomplishment” means in a context beyond the moment.
Not having asked to be born (yes, there are those who give some personal or larger intention to their presence) and not asking to end life (and, yes, there are those who reach this point from a variety of assessments), what function does a trophy fill?
There used to be an expectation that a person’s last words were a significant part of their legacy, their blessing. How far back do I have to remember my father’s words to get his last word before his death with Alzheimer’s? How does one rank his pre-Alzheimer word with the lack of coherence at his death?
That same ranking and rankling question also comes with an anticipatory component—unfulfilled promise. Do my accomplishments always come up short of what I could have done had I “better” applied myself or had one more opportunity to do so? Would yet another book, of which there is no end, finally, say something?
These days of quarantine, days of sameness, days of seemingly limited opportunity, raise Protestant Work Ethic questions of the value in these days. Questions are as general as good intentions, hopes, prayers, or mantras for the health of others, which is quite outside any thought of control. Questions are also as specific as finally putting up the gutter guards gathering dust in the garage. Between them come public words such as this blog.
It is so easy to see failings of others to accomplish such a basic as acknowledging what is known about the spread of a virus. Some seem to see it as a poison needing an inconvenient antidote. Some seem to see it as a poison that will rid them of their enemies and enhance the power of a particular political narrative. Some leap into the fray and risk volunteering. Some participate in self-protection protocols. And some, and some ….
Is what has been, “enough”? Is more still needed? Can I say, “It is well with my soul”? Is there a task yet calling for my attention?
Blessings on your response to “needful” things.