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Odds and Ends, People

How oblique is my hypotenuse?

After that Monday morning I was looking ahead trying to assess the week ahead.

In life either you take the high road or you take the low. Shortcuts exist. Easy to find them, use them but they have a very devious ways to hit back. The rule in most Indian temples is to leave your footwear outside the temple entry. A visitor who had just bought himself the latest in the footwear was hesitant to leave them outside and instead put them in a bag and carried it with him in to the temple premises. Unfortunately for him he was lost in the wondrous architectures of the temple and at the end of his visit he found himself locked out! In the morning the door was opened by the temple priest, who was surprised that someone was locked in. He exclaimed on looking at the guest and said “But I checked outside and found no footwear and hence I thought all the visitors have left.” He spied the footwear peeping out of the bag and continued “Ha you chose to take them in…”

While the etymology goes back the folk song of Bonnie Banks, the intention in current literature seems to indicate the goodness of choosing the high road and the opposite in choosing the low road as it were in all fields of human endeavor be it sports – read using enhancement drugs or blogging. See here

Within a quality movement the focus was always on a permanent solution to the problems and the avoidance of a fix. A fix is akin to taking the low road. It takes more to solve the problem by introducing a fix.  Imagine if a pipe is leaking. The fix would be to wrap a duct tape around it, or simple put a bucket below the leak. The tape comes away after a while and the bucket gets filled and needs to be emptied.

In the field of academia too it is evident. Fudging helps, but only in the short run. The amount of plagiarism among is indicative of the same. See here.The aspect of struggle seems to be very important in this regard. Even visiting holy shrines are almost often extremely difficult to travel to. Be it to Sabarimala, or to Mecca. In India most temples of repute requires a fair degree of walking.

Struggle or the necessity to struggle seems to be in the DNA of nature. Here is another aspect of struggle. It’s about a person who saw a butterfly struggling to get out of its chrysalis. He watched it struggle for a while and then stop. He thought that it was so difficult for the butterfly to get out and decided to help. He cut the cocoon just a little, to make it easier. It worked and the butterfly crawled out easily. He had a big fat body and withered wings. He waited to watch the wings spread, but they never did. Without the struggle of getting out of the chrysalis, the butterfly had not been able to pump enough the fluid from its body into its wings. The struggle was what made the butterfly so beautiful. See here.

Struggle seems to be inbuilt in our life. So much many philosophers ask us to forget the past, focus on the present and get ready for future.  Greek mythology encapsulated this struggle in the character of Sisyphus..

The only way out is to change the type of struggle mankind is in. Using the Maslow’s hierarchy if only mankind can eliminate the struggle for the first two levels at least.



3 thoughts on “How oblique is my hypotenuse?

  1. Great article, Eswaran!


    Posted by chandrasekar venkataraman | March 28, 2012, 7:22 am
  2. A very god…the priest story is great

    Posted by Mahadevan.P | March 28, 2012, 10:05 am
  3. Interesting read indeed. Eswaran, good work; keep it up!

    Posted by Prahlada Rao | March 28, 2012, 12:22 pm

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