A true story: an inspiring example of humility……
This story is about Mr. Zavere Poonawala who is a well-known Parsee industrialist in Pune, India. He had this driver named Ganga Datt with him for the last 30 years driving his limousine, which was originally owned by Acharya Rajneesh.
Ganga Datt passed away recently and at that time Mr. Poonawala was in Mumbai for some important work. As soon as he heard the news, he canceled all his meetings, requested the driver’s family to await him for the cremation and came back to Pune immediately by a helicopter.
On reaching Pune, he asked the limo to be decorated with flowers as he wished Ganga Datt should be taken in the same car which he himself had driven since the beginning. When Ganga Datt’s family agreed to his wishes, he himself drove Ganga Datt from his home up to the ghat on his last journey.
When asked about it, Mr. Poonawala replied that Ganga Datt had served him day and night, and he could at least do this being eternally grateful to him. He further added that Ganga Datt rose up from poverty and educated both his children very well. His daughter is a Chartered accountant and that is so commendable.
His comment in the end is the essence of a successful life in all aspects:
“Everybody earns money which is nothing unusual in that, but we should always be grateful to those people who contribute to our success. This is the belief, we have been brought up with, which made me do, what I did”.
An inspiring example of humility…….
FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2008
Many years ago, a rider came across some soldiers who were trying to move a heavy log without success. The corporal was standing by as the men struggled. The rider asked the corporal why he wasn’t helping. The corporal replied, “I am the corporal; I give orders.” The rider dismounted, went up and stood by the soldiers and as they were lifting the log, he helped them. With his help, the log got moved. The rider quietly mounted his horse and went to the corporal and said, “The next time your men need help, send for the Commander-in-Chief.” After he left, the corporal and his men found out that the rider was George Washington.
The message is pretty clear. Success and humility go hand in hand. When others blow your horn, the sound goes further. Just think about it? Simplicity and humility are two hallmarks of greatness. Humility does not mean self-demeaning behavior.
- In The Book of Virtues, edited by William J. Bennett,Simon & Schuster, New York, 1993, p. 204.
Question: How can I achieve humility?
Sri Chinmoy: In our human life when we have something, immediately pride, vanity and many other undivine forces enter into us. We extol ourselves to the skies. But let us think of the example of a tree. When the tree is in full bloom, when it is laden with ripe fruits, when it really has something to offer the world, the tree bows down. If we can become one with the consciousness of a tree, we will feel that the more we have to offer, the more humility we will have.
Whenever we aspire we get an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss. When we practise concentration and meditation regularly and devotedly we get abundant Peace, Light and Bliss. When we get these qualities in abundant measure, automatically we feel that it is our bounden duty to become inseparably one with the rest of the world. The higher we go, the more we feel our universal oneness. At that time, real humility dawns. The deeper we go the sooner we see the root. Once we become part and parcel of the root, we cannot be proud. We see that it is from the root that the trunk, the branches, the leaves, the flowers and the fruits have come into existence, yet the root mingles humbly with the earth and clay. If you want to develop more humility, I wish to tell you to dive deep within or climb up high, higher, highest, on the strength of your inner cry. Your inner cry will lift you up into the freedom of the Vast and make you inseparably one with the rest of the world. When you reach the Highest, automatically your divine oneness makes you humble.
There is also a practical way to achieve humility in the outer life. If you are a good singer and you are bloated with pride at your achievement, what you have to do is think of the world’s best singer. Immediately your own achievement will pale into insignificance because this other singer is undoubtedly far better than you. Pride comes when you feel that you are in some way superior to other people or that you have something which they do not have at all. But if you will compare your capacity or your achievement with that of someone who has it in far greater measure, then your pride will have to fade. When pride diminishes and disappears, humility increases and looms large.
Sri Chinmoy, Canada aspires, Canada receives, Canada achieves part 1, Agni Press, 1974
There is simplicity in humility. It is one of the foremost qualities that my own parents have taught me over the years. They would often say to us, “Rise to great heights in your life but always remember your roots and be humble. Learn to be modest and unassuming.” I personally think that all the qualities of goodness and benevolence that my parents have taught me over the years are much greater than any material and financial legacy that they could possibly leave to me and for that I am (and always shall be) immensely grateful to them. My parents have achieved great academic success and accolades in their own lives, yet few people know about it – such is the nature of their humility and modesty. I have always aspired to live my life like my parents and I hope that in a small measure, I have achieved my goal.
Humility is something that each of us absolutely needs to learn – we not only need to learn it well ourselves but we need to teach it to many others too. Humility and modesty are the better halves of false pride and vanity. It is well-known that Pride comes before a fall; humility and simplicity prevent such an occurrence from happening. Humble and modest people are those persons whose lives encompass a great number of other virtues – politeness, courteousness and consideration all form part and parcel of the same product.
Unfortunately, as luck would have it, most of us have come across certain people who are highly educated and knowledgeable in their field of speciality but who we find talk and behave as if they are just out of kindergarten. Such persons are bristling with a sense of their own self-importance; they are invariably arrogant, pompous, boastful and inconsiderate in thought, word and deed. They have the gumption to imagine that they are greater and better than all others. An acquaintance with such arrogant people leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth – we might wish that we could give them a “verbal slap” and in that way be able to knock some good sense into their heads.
Yet, I would strongly advise against such action. In doing so, you are only lowering yourself to the other person’s base level. The best recourse is to start ignoring such people – believe me, the other party will soon enough get the message loud and clear. People do not like to be ignored and remember this and remember it well – SILENCE IS CONTEMPT.
We all know that this is not the end of the road – we know that we are still to have many more unpleasant acquaintances with inconsiderate people in the future. THE TRICK LIES IN RISING ABOVE PETTY-MINDEDNESS, NARROW-MINDEDNESS AND FALSE PRIDE.
If everyone in the world started thinking likewise, the world would be a much, much better place to live in!