This week’s writing challenge: write about humility.
- Write about learning and relearning the same blasted lesson in humility. (Note: this is a topic I am an expert in
A famous quote by George Arliss reads as follows, “Humility is the only true wisdom by which we prepare our minds for all the possible changes of life”.
During my childhood days, I attended a lecture delivered by a great social reformer who pioneered the cause of women’s education and the upliftment of the downtrodden classes of the society, in the country. In the course of his stimulating lecture, he justified the need for bringing about equality amongst the sexes and abolishing the concept of castes in the society for the advancement and prosperity of the country. At the end of the lecture he informed the audience that he has set up a charitable institution to collect funds and use it to bring about a social change. He appealed for liberal donations from the public to help the noble cause.
This was the time when the rich and nouveau riche classes of society were eager to be seen contributing to a social cause that might brand them as a patriot of the country. There were many willing donors with wads of currency notes and jewelry waiting to personally hand over the donations to the reformist. In those days the concept of banks and “cheques” had not caught up with the masses and people preferred to keep their money in “liquid” form within the safe confines of their chests at home.
At that moment an old lady, with a silver rupee coin in her trembling hand, was also standing in the queue to make her donation. In the melee, her coin fell down, throwing her into a state of utter disappointment. The reformer was watching this event. He immediately got down to help the lady search the lost coin. One of the volunteers remarked, “Sir, this is only a rupee! Why should we waste our time searching it when there are others eagerly waiting with wads of notes?”
The reformer reprimanded the volunteer and said, “To this old lady, the rupee coin is everything that she has saved through her hard work and which she is willing to donate for a noble cause. She sincerely believes in the cause and feels her sacrifice is worth it. The others are donating a small portion of their ill-gotten wealth, more to serve their ego and less for the cause. To me the value of the rupee is much more than all the other donations.”
The rupee was soon located and the reformer personally thanked the old lady, to the astonishment of others. This incident struck a chord in my heart. It shows that humility is the only true wisdom that must be possessed by a leader who has visions for his country and the people.