There are times when I think every human is innately good and it is circumstances that lead them astray. There are other times when I totally believe that every human is fundamentally self absorbed and flawed. How else could you possibly explain the ‘tall poppy syndrome’ that we face nearly every day of our lives? Tall Poppy Syndrome is a beautiful Australian phrase.
Definition of ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’
The Macquarie Dictionary defines Tall Poppy Syndrome (TPS) as ‘a desire to diminish in stature those people who have attained excellence’.
The Australian National Dictionary says a Tall Poppy is ‘a person who is conspicuously successful; frequently one whose distinction, rank, or wealth attracts envious notice or hostility’.
We are all ‘legends’ in our own mind and have massive ego’s. Ego is not always a bad thing. There is healthy ego and there is destructive ego. When a person is innately confident, when their ego does not need to be stroked constantly and when the person does not begrudge the success of a peer – that would be ‘good’ ego. ‘I am fantastic, I am a legend in my own mind but I don’t envy my peer’s success.’ These kinds of people are easy to handle!
Its bad ‘ego’ that I have been faced with in copious bouts in the recent weeks and it is unbelievably hard to deal with. This monster in my view is caused by equal measures of ‘insecurity’ and ‘self glorification syndrome’. When a person does something, I believe it should be for the love of it rather than in expectation of everlasting glory. For eg. if you enjoy singing, you sing for the pleasure of singing and fame follows. If you enjoy blogging, you blog for the pleasure of blogging and acknowledgement comes in the form of comments. If you sang just for glory and blogged purely to be recognised as a legend in that space, there is a fundamental chink in your armour I think!! Yet the world seems to be filled with this kind!!
How wonderful it would be if we learnt to celebrate each other’s success and used it as a platform to grow. Artistes are perennially envious of each other. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they covered up the TPS and learnt to celebrate each other’s success? Wouldn’t this magnanimity allow all of us to grow and make the world such a great place to live in. Being ambitious is not wrong but being obsessive is! When will we understand this distinction?
It is not without reason that the message in Gita was written – do your duty without any expectation!! If only we all followed the simple lesson. If only we did things for love of it rather than for glory ….