Yesterday when I was still suffering from the staying up all night-blues, I saw some trophies of our res that needed cleaning. But really, they needed cleaning! I think the last time that trophies had seen any polish at all was back in 1985.
So I got some cloth and polish and started working my way through them. I had time to kill and didn’t want to go to sleep too early, for fear that I might wake up at an unhumanly hour or something.
I sat in our museum annex, which is cluttered at present because of revamping that is taking place in the res’s museum itself. At some point, a second year came by and wanted to know what I was doing. He stepped in and started to help me. After a while, our res’s president organized a first year to also come and give a hand.
They both asked me the same question: why do I, a fifth year, spend my time polishing trophies – a job that is good and messy and gets polish stuck underneath your nails and that is very tiring on your hands and arms? My answer was simply that sometimes you do things that will not necessarily bring you some shine. Sometimes you do the jobs that no one else wants to do, but still needs to be done. Sometimes you serve other people without getting something back…
You know where this is going. Use the metaphor any way you like. Point is, I enjoyed living in that place, the Republic of Kollegetehuis, so much and I got so much good and bad from it that I don’t mind getting dirty for it and the people in it from time to time. It helped me to get cleaned up as a person; I’ll help to clean up the place with a smile.