October 5, 2007

Today, someone sent an email forward where a person who had turned 60, had written a set of behaviour rules for himself (ok, ok, politically correct..hesself or hirself.) Several of them impressed me a lot, but one that struck me profoundly was: “understand humility”.

Humility…such a difficult thing to achieve. In today’s world of have-it-flaunt-it or even, don’t-have-it-flaunt-it, humility is little understood. Humility goes even beyond modesty..modesty makes you realize that you haven’t amounted to all that much, humility is recognizing that in most others are some qualities that you can yet only aspire to. The problem about humility, as with other virtues, is that it is so easy to adopt the appearance of it, while remaining far from it in reality.

The human being seems to need, forever, to want to feel superior to someone else, in some colour, looks, wealth, ancestry, learning, intelligence, bravery, physical prowess….it is so difficult to tame the ego and realize that there will always be others who will be better persons than you though they might not have what you consider your strength. Humility is thus the ability to see what is good in the next person…the person who achieves humility, I think, will be serene and truly happy, because the humble person will be less involved with hes own self, and will see the good in others.

I think most of us only get a glimpse of humility once in a while…perhaps when faced with the symmetry of a flower; when a beggar in front of one’s car helps another old person along the footpath;when one is really faced with an act of selflessnes….the rest of the time, we are caught up in the “maya” (illusion) of our own abilities, talents….and superiority.