While struggling to decide what shall be my input for this week a walk down the memory lane reminded me of a story that I read during school days – “Fall of Icarus”. Icarus, a character from Greek mythology was given wings of feathers and wax by his father Daedalus, a brilliant craftsman along with instructions – Don’t fly two low (close to sea), don’t fly too high (too close to sun), just follow me. But Icarus didn’t pay attention to those words and in his giddiness of having wings he went too close to sun only to find that his wings which were made of wax melted and he fell from sky to be drowned in sea.
In Indian Mythology also we have numerous examples where demigods consumed by the pride and arrogance of their powers and stature infuriated sages and faced their wrath as a consequence.
All these tales reiterate an important truth of life – its important to stay grounded no matter how powerful one is. The moment a person is consumed by his/ her own pride that marks the downfall of that person. To be more precise one should be humble. A person with humility as a characteristic trait is just like a sponge absorbing everything. By everything I mean good things – knowledge and values. More you receive more level-headed and grounded you would be. Well that reminds me of an old Hindi Idiom:
“Phalon se lada hua ped hi jhuka hua hota hai”
Which means a tree full of fruits would be seen stooping closer to ground. A knowledgeable person with virtue called humility is just a replica of a tree laden with fruits. Here humility is a seed, knowledge is a tree and the respect and success one enjoys are fruits.
Let’s take a look from another point of view. To begin with it doesn’t matter what we have, I mean knowledge, expertise, money, power and so on. The most important thing is our willingness to learn and in addition to that we must believe everything and everyone in this universe have something to offer to us, something we could learn from and nothing is small or below us. The moment we start assuming “I know it all” that’s a dead-end for a person both as a professional and a personality. Being humble and allowing knowledge to seep in doesn’t cost anything but rewards are incredible.
The examples that I mentioned above are from folk tales. In present we have many examples where we have people from all walks of life who are synonyms of success and power yet very humble in the way they conduct themselves. On the other hand we also have examples of people who exhibited arrogance or are devoid of humility and stories of their downfall is here to stay. Greater success, greater power, greater will be the responsibility to conduct respectfully with humility in order to be referred and remembered respectfully forever.
If God is bestowing his blessings in the form of success and respect it should be accepted with hands folded in humility and head down.