Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Moral measurement

When I was young, my mom used to make us kids stand against a wall, place a scale horizontally on our heads, mark in a pencil the height we measured and wrote the date and the initials. This was done generally in one of the rear side rooms where guests never entered. This exercise would be repeated two or three times a year and comparisons made. When the height did not show the desired improvement she used to give Incremin, a child’s health supplement that had a giraffe’s picture in the belief that it would increase our heights. She would insist on our playing with skipping ropes and swing from roman rings. It is a different matter whether these helped in our growing taller or not but gave her the satisfaction that she did her best to beat the genes of a one grandfather who was short.
It is again a moot point whether height is desirable over shortness. Did the Lilliputians suffer more than Brobdingnagians by virtue of their short height, I am not aware of. Many short men have attained preeminence that the heights alone did not confer on the tall men. .Chengis khan, Napoleon, Pablo Picasso, Lenin, Tom Cruise and our own Jawaharlal Nehru or Lalbahadur Sastri are a few short and famous men whom success did not elude.. Be that as it may short men often invite negative remarks, denied leading roles and not generally considered in certain professions like army, police.
I am digressing. The purpose of my article is not on this measurement. Why is it we tend to measure ourselves only on the heights but not our growth in some vital parameters like love, patience, calmness, compassion, contentment, loyalty, truth and values? Do we grow on these as we age or keep moving up and down or never grow at all in any or all of the parameters? Is there not a need for elders or mentors to measure us against such a wall of moral growth once a while? This exercise is one that we should take voluntarily and have health supplements to feed the mind as we do to the body like attending courses on personality development, Vipasana, meditation courses and even sat sanghs.The purpose is not to indulge in self criticism but to lift ourselves from the negative traits. There are some traits that have eternal value and cannot be allowed to be lost sight of. Just as we clean the garden of the weeds to allow the flower plants to grow and our homes of the clutter to retain only the good, we should undertake such a moral measurement for cleansing at regular intervals.


  1. Well, though height does not matter, still we have been brainwashed to think, only tall people have good personality, and similarly only a fair person looks good. It has been drummed into our heads, and consciously or at some level subconsciously, we have allowed to accept these things as normal.
    But we have also changed in the last few decades that such beliefs are not true, and we openly reject them.

    Amir khan is short, but all his movies are a big hit, Rajinikant is dark and there is no end to his success.
    It doesn't matter, for now we look up at successful people irrespective of their height or color. And, we also look up at people who are really good human beings.
    As the world changes so do we change, discarding all the negative thoughts and beliefs and embrace all that we feel are good and wholesome.
    Even without attending any of the courses mentioned above, one can evolve into a better human being.
    A thought provoking post.
    Have a nice week ahead.

  2. Pertinent in today's world where everything is measured incl wealth but not moral parameters. These values are inherent and built upon with age and experience. Negative traits have to be overcome though it is difficult, we perhaps have to be edged by our mentors and learn from them. Rightly put, "traits that have eternal value and cannot be allowed to be lost sight of"

    Keep writing these inspiring thought provoking posts.

  3. Wow! That's a new school of thought I have never indulged in - Moral measurement.

    Loved it and will try my scale shortly.

    Keep sharing...

  4. superb thought provoking post dear kpsarathy. Is there any scale for moral measurement, other than conscience? I am unaware...if there was some scale, the world would have been a better place!

  5. Hello sir..long time I visited here.It was a very thought provoking post.Nice ..we never ever get an opportunity to assess ourselves in any way!

  6. Good one Partha!
    All the courses and guidance are needed. There may be people with lesser grasping power.Before our elders will train us in the way of life.Now times are changing.

  7. I am sure you would remember that in our school days there used to be a session called "Moral Science" for 1 hour in every week. It was for teaching the importance of power of reasoning, Greatness of Values, discipline etc.I am very grateful for those early lessons which stood me in good stead.