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This animated video will greatly aid your understanding of the Tall Poppy Syndrome (TPS). The meaning of the metaphor is cutting down a Tall Poppy (TP) so that all are equal - a mediocre maintaining mechanism. Of course, the metaphor is not that simple.
Various dark emotions can be identified within the metaphor. Some are found in the cutter and some in the TP. TP status does not guarantee sainthood. Dark emotions in the TP justify cutting the TP down to size returning them to their rightful status.
This first diagram illustrates peer-to-peer or private TPS. The dark emotions are found in the cutter who cuts down a peer who is not necessarily a TP. It is the cutter's choice, emulation or cutting down, of gaining equality. The second illustration demonstrates cutting down an egregious TP who harbors a dark emotion. Schadenfreude (joy from another's pain) may occur after any TPS.
Cutting someone down has many causes but common etiologies are found in six of the seven deadly sins: cutter - envy, anger, sloth; TP - pride, greed lust. These differing dark emotions are often detected in TPS. Various virtues are antidotes to dark emotions and can be added as a treatment for the villain.
These diagrams are roadmaps to understanding TPS. The viewer also becomes more self-aware which enhances self-improvement and self-control.
About the Author: Doug Garland, MD is the author of The Tall Poppy Syndrome: The Joy of Cutting Others Down, the most comprehensive work of the TPS currently available.
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