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June 18, 2020 / Congau

The Bestowment

The trophy was bestowed upon the winner. The proud man was standing on the podium lifting the large cup above his head and indulging himself in the applause and cheers from the crowd. This was the moment he had been waiting for: the reward for his work and his cunning schemes. The honor was his – the greatest of all goods.

“What is money?” he thought. “I can buy my own swimming pool and live in luxury. That is rather pleasant, but it has never been my main goal and I doubt if it could be sufficient for anyone. If no one sees you, admire you and envy you, that swimming pool of yours will soon be very boring. No, what I want is the power that comes with my wealth and the honor that such power will bestow upon me. My team, the people I own and control, have now won the trophy, and it is mine: My power and my glory.”

His team were standing behind him. They had each received a small cup, a replica of the one their boss was holding. They certainly looked content, but their demeanor had none of their boss’ flamboyant triumph. After all they had merely done the hard and dirty work, and they were never meant to shine. Some of them looked rather embarrassed about the honor that had been bestowed on them and glanced at their silver cup as if they had not deserved it.

“What is the connection,” they thought “between this fancy piece of metal and the work we have been doing? We did it, and the fruits of our work were our reward: the satisfaction of a job well done and the joy and usefulness that others may have gained from it. We produced it all by ourselves. We didn’t need a bestowment.”

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