A story about the tallest man in a village of short people

About twelve and a half years ago, there was a guest of honour who shared a story – a story meant to challenge us to keep aiming for the skies even when one seems to be successful. In the spirit of pursuing a goals lifestyle (lead your life to reach your goals; live deliberately) I share this story today with you. It’s a story about the tallest man in a village of short people.

A while ago, there was a village made of short people. The villagers had all they could need for their sustenance – land, food, game (hunted in the nearby forests), neighbors…you name it. It’s for this reason that they didn’t need to travel and meet other neighboring villages – which were far and wide and also self sufficient. the villagers lived with each other and with no sight of outsiders, they would also breed amongst themselves. To them, being short was normal.

And similar to every other society, some villagers were more powerful than others – bigger families, bigger properties, better hunters, more attractive. But still, regardless of how much a villager would be privileged to have, all the villagers remained to be short people. Being short was normal.

One villager happened to get lucky and grow to become a tall man in a village of short people. His height become easily noticeable even at teenage – being tall in a village of short people was highly unlikely. The young boy received so much attention for being unique (tall). This attention came from people of all walks of life – young and old, males and females, the hardworking and lazy alike. The attention grew as the young teenager advanced to a young man.

Unfortunately, the excessive attention got in to the head of this young man. And he became arrogant to fellow villagers. He felt entitled and in due time grew to detest his fellow villagers. He felt so important that he no longer saw the need to be associated with his villagers – they were short after all!

The young man decided to carve his own independent life – away from these short people who seemed to need him more than he needed them. He decided to leave the village in the hope of meeting other people who would be tall like him. He had grown a strong distaste for short people.

After many months of traveling and living in the wild – on his own – he came across a village of tall people. Everyone in the village was tall. He was excited about the new discovery, and he was glad that he had at last come across people who matched his ability (height). The young man drew closer to the village of shorter people and the closer he got, the more he realised that those people were tall – taller than him. He didn’t mind this at first – until he later realised that he was still too short when compared to the shortest person in a village of tall people.

The young man was no longer the medal holder of being the tallest man – he was shorter than the shortest man in the village of tall people. He thus had to carve a new identity – one that could give him attention and respect as he used to enjoy before. It took a while to gain a new identity, but the young man also learned not to despise people for being lesser than him.

Could you be behaving like the young man who was tall among short people and yet still shorter than the shortest person in a community of tall people?

Lead your life to reach your goals; live deliberately.


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