"I recall getting a call late in the week that I was one of the few chosen to assist during the upcoming weekend in a very special project at the Santa Monica Community Center that would have be working closely with Division WD Head, Ramona Sinclair. Oh the fortune for a YMD. Rather then mindlessly running around a park building human pyramids Sat. and Sun. in preparation for an upcoming meeting, I would be in the pretense of Ramona Sinclair for two whole days. Oh the fortune.
I dutifully arrived early for Gongyo along with the 10-15 others that would be assisting in this project. After Gongyo we were informed that we would be refinishing wood benches tha were in the back lobby of the building. Don't recall how many but what would be involved was stripping the varnish, sanding the wood then re-varnishing them. When done they would look brand new and what a wonderful cause for World Peace. In hindsight, boy was I drinking the kool aid. From then on it was just a exercise in manual labor, but oh the fortune, to be doing this incredibly important project in the presence of Ramona Sinclair! Challenging one's ichinen! When we ran out of supplies/sand paper/pain brushes, we jumped at the opportunity to go to the hardware store and buy more, on our own dime! All for Kosen Rufu! When the project was finished, we did evening Kongyo then admired the finished project, how wonderful the benches looked, oh what a wonderful cause, and the membership will be so appreciative!!!!
The only problem, they didn't look brand new, they looked exactly the same as when we started on Sat. morning. Exactly the same. How incredibly pointless was this project? We might as well have been stacking rocks. Of course I didn't verbalize, as everyone else was ooohhhhing and ahhhhing over how wonderful they looked. But in my mind, there was no doubt, the appearance of the benches had not changed at one bit.
Alas I headed home wondering WTF was I involved in and why??? Wasn't long after that that I started drinking less and less of the kool aid. So I guess in hindsight, it was a very worthwhile exercise after all!"