I hesitate to even write about this, being rather ignorant of the Lojong slogans, but I received the lovely deck I bought from Bev King of the cards she designed and photographed. While I was browsing through the booklet, this slogan zoomed out at me, so I chose this slogan and card to reflect on.
SLOGAN FIFTY-NINE – DON’T EXPECT APPLAUSE
This is pyrite or fool’s gold. When I was young and we camped and boated on Georgian Bay, we children would often find bits of pyrite and think how valuable they were, how special. Then an adult told us they weren’t valuable and it took away the feeling.
A friend and I were talking about this several times this week; it bears remembering. I was also speaking of it with another friend this morning. We are all artists and creative types and notice that we periodically go through discouraging times when no one seems to pay attention to what we do, or we feel we aren’t getting anywhere, yet other people who don’t work as hard or have originality gain much attention.
Resentment is a thing that niggles, is it not? And yet, we all keep creating and enjoying projects or writing, learning new things, but somewhere deep inside we have expectations, we want some sort of recognition. Recognition is not a problem but expecting it is. Also, in order to gain recognition you might do things or follow the trends and values of others that normally you would not follow, even to the point of compromising ethics.
Part of the Buddhist tradition about opening your heart is that, by golly, no one is going to give you anything back. It’s normal, and everything you do is done for its own sake, and that should be the reward.
Most of the time it is, but on days when we feel hopeless or fatigued this thing rears up and takes away our good feelings, takes away the benefits of what we create. We know it’s senseless because we felt so good when creating, and to pin our good feelings to something outside of ourselves ruins it.
Fool’s gold is still very attractive and we like to look at it and collect it. Regardless of any value or non-value others place on it, we can still be pleased and have fun, get the joy in seeing, in finding.