Anandhi Jayashankar, Sunday, September 11, 2016 4:13 pm

The ‘High Man’ and the ‘Low Man’

‘When I can excel without any formal education, what can you not achieve with all the experience and education you have?’

This question actually indicates that each and every one born is capable of achieving the highest in all his endeavours! Is this true?? This is a question that has always hindered with my ‘too positive attitude’. But then some questions just don’t disappear!!

Looking at the flip side of the very same question, if it is true that all of us can achieve whatever we want, then why is it that all of us are not in the number one position?

Well, the obvious answer is that all of us have our limitations and no amount of formal education can actually raise us to any level that is above our capacities. Like Swamiji (Swami Parthasarathy) often says,

“There is a difference between the hen flying, a pigeon flying and an eagle flying. All these birds fly but then can you compare an eagle and a hen and ask the hen to do a better job??”

Then how do we progress? Are we to remain at the same level? Should we stop having goals? Should we not dream big?

No, not really!  

Keep putting in the effort in this lifetime and eventually you will find a birth that allows you to break the shackles that you have failed to break in this birth. This is progress!!

We are living lives assuming that physical death is the end to all our endeavours. This is not true. We continue birth after birth evolving and improving our state. The pinnacle of perfection awaits us. It is just a matter of time. The question is, are we going to get dejected by comparing ourselves or are we going to keep pushing the bar knowing that we will pass the test in the coming lifetimes! It is a waste of time if we look at others and expect the same from ourselves. We will be doing ourselves a favour by taking stock of our assets and making the best of it! Like Robert Browning says in his poem ‘A Grammarian’s Funeral’;

That low man seeks a little thing to do,

Sees it and does it:

This high man, with a great thing to pursue,

Dies ere he knows it.

That low man goes on adding one to one,

His hundred's soon hit:

This high man, aiming at a million,

Misses a unit.

That, has the world here   should he need the next,

Let the world mind him!

This, throws himself on God, and unperplexed

Seeking shall find him.


We have to decide whether we want to be the so called ‘high man’ or are we going to be the ‘low man’ and attain the Highest by adding one to one!

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