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Envy's Harvest & The Tall Poppy Syndrome

Doug Garland
Doug Garland
2 min read
Envy's Harvest & The Tall Poppy Syndrome
Envy's Harvest by William D. Higginson (

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Our envy of others devours us most of all.
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Envy's Harvest by William D. Higginson

William D. Higginson was born in 1978 in Australia. He began drawing early in life and continued through his high school years where he found success in high school art shows. After 3 years in the military without even sketching, he returned home and began drawing and honing his artistic talent. Over the next five years, he progressed from amateur to professional artist.

Higginson moved to Vancouver, Canada, in 2009. His work advanced from realism to other styles and genres, although his sweet spot is surrealism. The above painting and video are from his recent November 2023 show "A Surreal Odessey" in Vancouver, B.C. Being raised in Australia and living in Canada has likely given him awareness and a good grasp of TPS.

Envy's Harvest is the latest example in his series of works illustrating TPS. Since envy is part of the title, the cutters are most likely the bearers of this dark emotion (see The Anatomy of the Tall Poppy Syndrome). The cutters are dressed in suits suggesting that in real life they are most likely in their workplace. This makes TPS a peer-to-peer or private situation instead of a public TPS (see The Tall Poppy Syndrome: The Joy of Cutting Others Down).

The workplace is commonly a hierarchy and competition for advancement is razor-sharp. Three envious poppies are cutting down (harvesting) the likely front-runner for the position while two others observe from a distance perhaps in disbelief.

Cutting down a TP is a losing proposition. The cutters are still losers. They are better served to understand the TP's characteristics, imitate the TP, and grow tall as well.

The illustration fittingly joins our last two posts regarding envy (see Envy, the Coppolas, & The Tall Poppy Syndrome) and jealousy (see Jealousy, a Love Triangle, & The Tall Poppy Syndrome).

Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate.                                               William Arthur Ward

Well done, William D. Higginson.

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Douglas Garland, M.D. practiced orthopedic surgery for 37 years in Southern California. Doug was also a Clinical Professor of Orthopedics at the University of Southern California.