Facing Humiliation – Part 2

When he forgave those men, he also felt loved by Krishna. His dear Lord had tested him and he felt he had pleased God by forgiving the unruly men on the train. Later, he also saw their behavior as circumstantial; he could separate them from their actions.

It’s important to note that humility is not weakness. My friend would have flared up and confronted the group if they had attacked an innocent person. That’s because God would have approved rendering service and help to a person in need.

Humility makes the heart soft and that’s when the seed of love grows luxuriantly. Therefore, wise sages have emphasized for a long time that to the extent we strive for humility, we connect to the divine, spiritual force within.

Often, we become proud when we are appreciated and depressed when criticized. Both are signs of a puffed-up ego. To please God means to choose humility and to practice humility means if we are appreciated, we immediately invoke gratitude; we thank the praise- giver and the Lord for empowering us to please others. If we are criticized, we recognize our fallible nature.

Others’ behaviour cannot upset a truly humble person because he would never think of himself as better than them. He may know he’s more fortunate, but never better.

The former president of India Abdul Kalam exemplified this attitude. Once, Dr Kalam was the chief guest at the Banaras Hindu University for a convocation ceremony. The organizers had arranged five chairs on the stage for all the dignitaries, the one at the centre reserved for him. As Dr Kalam came on stage, he noticed that his chair was bigger than the others. He refused to sit on it and offered the chair to the vice chancellor instead. Obviously, he too refused and quickly another chair that was equal in size to the others was arranged for the President of the country.

Like Dr Kalam, if it’s natural for you to think of others as deserving respect, humility would also be natural to you; you’d be endearing to one and all.

Unfortunately, for most of us, the universe arranges humiliation before we voluntarily choose humility.

But it’s never too late, is it?

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