When the disappointing performance of someone else causes one’s own contribution to appear substandard to that person, and they then react in a dismissive manner in front of a group of one’s peers. One is left feeling disappointed by the whole sorry exchange.

I do note that the pattern for this year has been one of my being obliged to trust to others with more power, authority, or professional training, to make the right decisions, and of each time being let down. And in the midst of all this, only my own performances have been of sufficient quality *not* to provoke disappointment, from either those they were intended for (who sometimes may not have cared enough to register any disappointment) or from myself (who, perhaps foolishly, persists in caring.)

Yes, I have outperformed all-comers (which has not been difficult), but unfortunately it has counted for little as I simply do not have any power or authority to exercise, over others, over events, over myself. One can do one’s absolute best and still fall to a resounding defeat. Behold me! The living proof of this fact.

Such has been 2020. May it soon be over. Here’s Samuel Johnson doing penance in the market square at Uttoxeter, having committed the sin of pride as a boy by refusing to help his father sell books.

Crowe, Eyre; Johnson (1709-1784), Doing Penance in the Market Place of Uttoxeter, Staffordshire