Confucius (BC 551- 479) is regarded as one of the greatest teachers and philosophers in Chinese history. In his later years, he travelled with his students to various states spreading his teachings, but was not very well received everywhere.
Once Confucius and his students ran out of food and all of the students fell ill. One of the students complained, “So, it is possible for a righteous person to become destitute!"
Confucius replied, "A righteous person can guard his morality and virtue even when he is destitute; whereas a wicked person will resort to all sorts of vices when he is destitute."
Confucius was pointing at the standard of being human. When values are put to the acid test of practical life, most of us miserably lose. We know the right action but are mostly tuned to remoulding values to fit the physical need of the situation. This malpractice is seen with most spiritual leaders of all times. That could be why there are so many interpretations to all Scriptures. Verses are the easiest to bend. I have not seen a verse that asks for as many interpretations as possible. We provide even a heinous criminal with a supporting Scriptural Verse to defend himself.
Going away from the madding crowd and sitting alone under a tree is easy, he has no much worldly temptations to face; his values are not that threatened too. The situation of a householder but is different; his values are always under test. That is why a householder is said to be thrice blessed. It could be from a heap of commitments that he rises to remember the Highest and cares to chant a Praise.
I remember a touching remark of Socrates the Great. Just before obliging to the court verdict he said, “When I was 70 years old, I was brought to trial for worshipping strange gods. My accusers said that I taught young men to think dangerous thoughts. I was found guilty of these ‘crimes’ and was sentenced to death. Although my friends had a plan to help me escape from prison, I refused. After spending my life searching for the meaning of right and wrong, I felt it was wrong to run away from the government's verdict. I told my friends, ‘No greater good can happen to a man than to discuss virtue every day, and an unexamined life is not worth living." Yes, the secret of greatness and success in life definitely is our attitude to the values we share, how small and irrelevant it be.