STAY GROUNDED TO RISE HIGH

Hi Everyone,

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.

 

ARROGANCE IS NOT EARNED

“Do you like Aishwarya Rai?” he asked excitedly.

I said a strong “No”

“Come on, you are just jealous – she is an epitome of beauty and perfection. How can you not like her?” he asked again

“I don’t like her attitude. Every time she speaks, I feel that she thinks of herself as the queen of world. No humility at all.” I explained.

“So what? She has earned her arrogance. If the beauty queen like her cannot be arrogant then who can be?” He said

That made me think and think again. Can somebody really earn arrogance? Is arrogance a function of your looks, talent and achievement? Is it even justified?

I have many people in my life who are so talented and such achievers in life but never ever show it off. They still believe in learning from others. They believe that no matter what kind of person is sitting next to you – he still has his own qualities and talents that you can learn from.

I am good at my job. Amitabh Bachhan might be the most famous actor – he still cannot beat me at my job.

No matter what you have achieved in your life and how talented you are – you never have the right to look down upon others and be arrogant.

Continue reading “ARROGANCE IS NOT EARNED”

RARITY OF HUMILITY

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To be humble and never mumble,

Is a virtue rare and sweet.

For the gushing life-streams make us tumble,

And so, how often we grumble!

 

To remain humble whether there is sun or rain or dew,

Is an art mastered by, but a few.

 

Rich accolades and spacious mansions,

The jingle of gold and silver,

And a whole lot of gems in the quiver –

Rubies and pearls, diamonds and emeralds,

Rouse a chest full of clanging cymbals.

 

To remain humble whether there is sun or rain or dew,

Is an art mastered by, but a few.

               

Accomplishments and triumphs,

Children and family,

Power and position,

Respect and recognition,

Are all nothing but sheer vanity.

 

To remain humble whether there is sun or rain or dew,

Is an art mastered by, but a few.

               

A gentle reminder to the thoughtless wanderer –

 

With palms empty were you laid in the cradle,

And with palms empty you will mount the hearse.

 

What then is there to boast O merry pilgrim?

What to then raise a toast?

 

When the life breath is snuffed off this mortal body,

All that remains is a carcass shoddy.

 

               

So why this vain conceit and so much of haughty deceit ?

Wake up O slumberer,

Wake up to riches divine,

Sit not forever on this earthly goldmine.

 

The world and its gaiety will forever perish,

But, Heavenly riches shall you eternally relish.

 

Etch your treasure in humility,

Garb yourself with all nobility.

Stoop low to the needy,

Without expecting praises steady.

 

Silent sufferings, quiet servings,

Are all reward deserving,

That which has remained from every eye unseen,

From every ear unheard,

The imperishable rewards from Heaven’s treasure trove.

 

O! to remain humble whether there is sun or rain or dew,

Is an art mastered by, but a few.

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HUMILITY – A STRANGE VIRTUE

Once I saw a quote up on facebook saying, ‘Dream big, Work hard and Stay humble’. Quite a doable quote, right? Well not when you aren’t humble enough. I am not at all a humble person, and I say so because at times I really get offended and irritated when someone corrects me. However, I might be a meek person. But does that help me in any way?

One day at office, my manager tells me that I have meeting with the client at the CEO’s office. Nervous I went in with the client and the manager. That day was the worst not only for me, but also for my manager. Our CEO was furious for some reason and scolded us both in front of the client and even the client was not spared. I was astonished. My manager was a 15 yrs old employee and the right hand to the CEO. And he was offended in front of the client and me. He was a very well behaved, good and humble man, is what I knew. I saw the same that day. after the client left he went in and had a chat with our CEO. He said, “there have been times when I was humiliated for things I hadn’t done, still I accepted them and went on, to achieve good things in life.”

This is humility!! Humble people are really not affected by praises or disgrace, is what I learned from that incident. Not thinking about your own self but thinking about others first. He was humble enough to give more honor to our CEO. It is said humility is one of the greatest virtue. One who possess it, receives all the wisdom , knowledge and progress in life. Humility being a virtue is always cultivated. When we are humble, we become patient, tolerant, detaching ourselves from negative surroundings and letting go of all things that hurt.

It is said, ” Humility is a strange thing… Once you think you have got it, You lose it!!!!”

ACTIONS DON’T ALWAYS SPEAK …

Yesterday, while I was walking down the aisle, I accidentally met one of my colleague who works in a different team in the same group as mine.

He involuntarily asked, “Long time, haven’t seen you.. How was your US trip?”. I said it was good and inquired about his health. He hasn’t been keeping well for over a month now. We talked for sometime and he asked, “Were you on leave last week ? Haven’t seen you in the monthly interaction meeting …”. I took couple of days of sick leave last week and did miss the monthly interaction meeting, I told him the same. 

There was a surprise on his face and some curiousness in his eyes. He stressed on his question and asked me again “Are you sure, your US trip was OK?”. I was still finding out apt words, before that he again said, “I am asking you because, things weren’t good during my trip”.

I knew I can express what I feel to him, and we ended up talking and cribbing on the work culture for more than 1 1/2 hours. One of my peer took all the credit and the hard work I have put into his account and this has definitely hurt me.

By the end of the talk he just said, “I don’t want you to suffer. I would give my honest suggestion, think of your career and do what is best for you. People would try to exploit you as long as you keep quiet and accept the way you are being treated. Well, you are not such a girl, you are very good with work. I don’t want you to be too humble.”

I won’t entirely blame work culture for this, my fault is big too. Though my peer has not exhibited humility in appreciating the support he has got from others, I failed to consider putting myself in the right context before Program Management team.  Many times because of our subtleness, we simply expect our actions to speak for us. 

Our assumption that staying focused and working hard, would pay off may entirely take the other direction. This old way of thinking simply leaves our chances of success up to luck.

Because I was being too humble, I have been receiving the liking for all the wrong reasons. I don’t ask for promotions or a higher pay. Why wouldn’t it be convenient for anyone to exploit me when I am showing the door?

If we are too humble, people may not know what value we bring to the team or the organisation and we may loose opportunities. Some times it is extremely important that we put our accomplishments into words and create the value and make an impression.

The same holds very good in personal relationships too. Never expect that the love and care you are showing would be valued. The time you spend and your efforts may go unnoticed.

Never have arrogance or false pride but please don’t be too humble at the same time, you may fall prey.

MEEKNESS AND HUMILITY ARE NOT SAME

When I was discussing about the week’s topic with Thaddeus I was of an opinion that Meekness and Humility are similar words. But when I asked my uncle, he said NO. He said, “meekness is an outward expression and humility is an inner character.” 

I thought of researching on it a bit before accepting anything.

Google Dictionary defines Meek as – “quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.”

Same way it describes Humility as – “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s importance.”

Both the words look same but they are not. 

There’s a website called Researchpedia.info which differentiates these two words beautifully which you can check:

Meekness: Meekness is a property of human instinct and conduct. It has been characterized a few ways like equitable, open to instruction, and patient under anguish. Meekness alludes to conduct towards others, controlling one’s own power, to permit space for others.

Humility: Humility is the nature of being humble. In a religious perspective this is an acknowledgment of self in connection to God and acknowledgment of one’s imperfections. Exterior from religious perspective, it is characterized as the patience from intemperate vanity, and can have moral and ethical dimensions.

The President of India can be humble or can show humility in front of the general public but he can not be meek to the general public. But he can be meek sometimes in his own family in relation to his family members. 

Meekness can be shown with out being humble but all humble people can show meekness at times. Meekness can be humiliating sometimes but humility may not be the same. Humility can be shown without being humiliated as well. Meek can be quietened but being humble doesn’t mean the person won’t be expressing him/herself.  Meekness can be absence of being rowdy but humility can be absence of being proud. 

The bottom line is whatever it may be, whatever may be the differences between these two words… The mixture of these two characters are lethal. It is never a weakness but always a strength to kill the power of hatredness, power of vengeance and power of pride.

Use them as weapon and you will be victorious in every relationship.

Stay blessed!!! 

THE ROAD TO HUMILITY: CONSIDERING OTHERS BETTER THAN YORSELF

Humility, above all other character traits ought to be most sought after. Pride is a uniquely human condition, not only an act of the intellect (which some created beings have a lot of), it is an act of the will wherein one places himself or herself above others in mind and heart. My main question about its opposite, humility, is where does it come from and why do some people seem to have more of it than others? Following that, how can prideful people become humble? The Scripture says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

As I sat wondering about how to cultivate humility, this quote came to my mind. As I meditated on it, I saw something that intrigued me. It says “in humility… DO This”. In other words, the key to getting “in humility” is doing one thing, which will naturally manifest itself in the second. The first is an inward transitioning from natural self-value and self-love towards others . This is definitely the hardest part as it requires an inward change of the heart that we are seldom (if ever) able to effect ourselves (more on that on another occasion) . Although this first step is difficult to achieve, I believe there is a shortcut to meeting it. I firmly believe that the heart can follow the hand’s actions; if the heart is stubborn, a willing hand can soften it. The second part of the quote says ‘look’ to the interests of others; meaning we first must open our eyes to see and then lend a helping hand towards others interests or needs. As we extend a helping hand with a compassionate smile, an uplifting word, kind counsel or a myriad of other things, I believe that the natural reward of true altruism will speak the truth of selfless love to our prideful hearts.  Our prideful hearts, having been softened, will then be able to pour more freely onto others through giving selfless love. “What is this charity and selfless love you speak of?” You may ask, “I thought this was about how to be humble?” Well, humility is defined as: “the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.” Let me ask you, if you saw someone who genuinely  lived a pattern of looking out for others’ interests and needs, would you not conclude that they were a humble person?

There is an additional way that you can become meek and humble but it involves a lot of unnecessary pain. As I travelled in Latin America, I learned this corollary through the Spanish language. In Spanish, the word for “to humble” and “to humiliate” are the exact same word: “humillar”. Therefore, I conclude that you have a choice to be humbled [willingly] or to be humiliated. The choice is yours. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re already humble. That would be a dangerous mistake indeed. For, “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.”