Francis Meyrick

Question: Do we tend to maybe look UP the ladder too much?

Posted on December 10, 2014

Question: Do we tend to maybe look UP the ladder too much?

C’mon, we ALL do it. Looking UP the ladder. Career, education, wealth, status, satisfaction… it’s never enough, is it?
If only… hmmm…. (DREAM, DREAM). Right?

Well, a few years back I was pondering this issue, and wondering how to verbally illustrate what I saw in my tiny mind. I’d love to meet a painter, or somebody really good with computer graphics, who would be able to create a tableau, with lots of ladders climbing out of valleys and cities up into the clouds. And lots of lots of people climbing those ladders. Some high up, some at the bottom starting out. With one peculiar oddity: nearly everybody is looking UP. Only here and there, do you see a climber looking down at the struggling souls beneath him. Very occasionally, you would see one actually reaching a hand down. Offering support, an unselfish hand up to a higher rung.

Symbolism, obviously. An allegory. It points to a human tendency to often think that we are lacking some thing we absolutely need to be happy. If that sense of being slighted, or passed over, or unfairly treated, or not loved and appreciated goes into overdrive, people can get depressed. If the depression goes on, you can end up seriously depressed. Maybe, heaven forbid, even suicidal.

So, how to combat that? Well, talking about it is a first start, obviously. I have in the past volunteered to help out on a suicide hot line, and that was a learning environment. You can’t “help ” people. But you can “assist ” people in helping themselves. People will work it out, given the basic tools. Like, dare I suggest, these simple stepping stones.

So, a few years ago, my tiny mind was churning around on this issue, and then I had an idea. So I wrote a letter from my imaginary younger brother. Well actually, he is not totally imaginary, as you shall see. Actually, he is very real.

Here is the letter, addressed to me. I am his ‘Big Brother’.



Hi Francis,

How goes my big brother? I reach out to you, in kindness, across Space and Time, and hold you dear in my heart. I hold my arms around you, and comfort you.
I was absorbing some of your stories, and realizing that you are on a quest.
You are, in your own clumsy way, a true Seeker. Although you are fumbling and groping, I sense the direction that you are feeling for…

I have walked with you up the “Sugarloaf Mountain “. I too have gazed out over Ireland, and listened to the wind of the ages, brushing lightly around me. I too have shaded my eyes against the sun, closed my eyelids, and yet sensed the light reaching out to me.
Another story I liked is “The Road of Light “. I related to it, and I can only wish I had enjoyed the experience you describe. How I would have loved to have had the chance to become a helicopter pilot! How I would have loved to have done a fraction of the things you have done! Traveled to the places you have seen, and met all the people you have met!
Another one I liked was “Starry, starry night “. I liked the music, and I liked the way you honestly described your tiny mind probing the Immensity of the Universe. You are wise to ponder your own insignificance. For in humility, perhaps, even you will find the first stage of learning. Fly, my brother, fly in your helicopter, look out over this strange world, and relate your stories to us, with gentleness and caring.
I can see myself, flying in that strange contraption, soaring out over the waves. Following that Road of Light, following those stars you pondered. How I would have enjoyed that! To have been with you maybe, chatting together, looking out over the vast Pacific Ocean. Sailing over the endless waves, alone with you. How I would have been so happy to sit beside you, and listen to the whirrings of your confused mind.
You have been tremendously lucky, you will forgive me for saying.

You have had so much, my big brother. So many opportunities to achieve perhaps some Good. So many opportunities to learn. So many opportunities to hug your brother, to exercise compassion and kindness. To use your talents, however you may so perceive them. To learn. To follow that same Road of Light, and to follow on the Path of Human Kindness. So why do you worry about such trifling things? You dwell so much on money and bills. You worry about your retirement. You worry about your mortgage. If only I had owned my own house! If only I had enjoyed the luxury of worrying about my retirement!
I longed, achingly, for less, far less. A hug, a cuddle, and to feel warm and secure in my mother’s arms.

Think of me sometimes, my big brother. Look at my photo below, often, and remember me.
Never forget me, for that would break my heart.

Your little brother,


back to Index ? Smile

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on January 24, 2015, 9:53 am

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