Monday, January 23, 2023


Virtue always seems to exist in only the most difficult things to do. Anything easy to do is very seldom accepted as virtuous much like anything good to eat is automatically classified unhealthy. It automatically raises the question whether it is difficult because it is virtuous or is it considered virtuous only because it is difficult.

Akazhvaarai thaangum nilam pola thannai igazhvaarai poruththal thalai - Tirukkural

Like the Earth that bears even those who dig it, the virtuous man bears with those who revile him - Loose Translation

And THAT is Tiru's idea of virtue. And I challenge any of you to say it is easy to do that. When someone keeps trolling you, do you want to let loose on him with your choicest accumulation of abuses or do you rejoice in smiling it away?

One can sort of see that it is tough to be a virtuous man (Yeah, Yeah, PERSON! It is not always chauvinistic, you know. It is just that old age means that you have become used to writing things a certain way for too long for you to change easily. And, yes, the practice was to use 'him' and 'man' in these circumstances). If you cannot bear trolls with a grin and start raging and hating the trolls, sooner or later you will get to the point where any criticism automatically seems like trolling and evokes hatred. Which essentially means that you only become self-righteous instead of being righteous.

So, Tiru does have a point when he says that a virtuous man should be able to grin and bear it when he gets trolled. Failing which he shall, sooner or later, cease to be virtuous.

The problem is that it is just too much trouble to be a virtuous man. It is always easier to expect virtue of other people than to be virtuous yourself!

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