Rav Chaim Vital, the foremost disciple of one of the greatest Kabbalists of all times, the holy Arizal writes: (Shaar HaGilgulim Chapter 38 pg 62b, also cited in Sefer HaChezyonos known as Shivchei Rav Chaim Vital)"I once asked my master and teacher (the Arizal) of blessed memory, "How can you tell me that my soul is so great?! . . .Why, the smallest of the previous generations were such great pious and righteous saints and tzadikim that I do not even reach their ankles!" He (the Arizal) answered me: "You should know that the greatness of a soul is not measured based on a man's actions or deeds, but rather it is measured according to the time and place he lives in, in that generation. Even a very small act in this generation, is equal to many great mitzvos in other generations, because in these generations the darkness of the husks and shells of impurity known as the klippos is very great and very strong to no end, which was not so in previous generations."