I’ve recently observed numerous “congratulations” being offered — cards, parties, etc. — for events such as weddings or the birth of a baby. I have to admit that I’m puzzled by the sentiments in a lot of ways. Yes, there’s a celebration for the start of something new, and well wishes, but starting something — be it a marriage or parenting — is a relatively small achievement compared to the completion or maturation of creation. To me, congratulations are in order 10-20 years down the road, when the world can see the fruition of an evolved, deep relationship or a healthy, independent child. Those are definitely worthy of congratulations. It took a lot to get there.
The flip flop of “congratulations” at the start, rather than the fruition or completion of something, is part of the inverted world in which we live. People are more easily lulled in parties and the excitement of new endeavors than consideration of the long term process and dedicated work of conscious creation. This applies to a spiritual path or practice as much as anything else in life.
I’m emphasizing these points not to be disparaging, but to shift the scales of attention, and perspective, to the deeper and bigger picture of life and creations. In a world emphasizing the superficial, fast, and easy, there is a tremendous amount of hard work, persistent effort, commitment, and “real” accomplishment that goes under-noticed and under-recognized. It’s no wonder that many people feel lonely and disconnected in long-term endeavors in a world where short-term gratification is emphasized. I see you and I applaud you for taking on the deep, challenging, and unheralded work.