Success must bestow humility

Shravan Vishwanathan

Humility and knowledge in poor clothes excel pride and ignorance in costly attire – William Penn.

There are thousands of people who ascended to great height with immense difficulty and toil and have understood the art of success. But do they become humble by choice or does the unpretentious hard work towards their goal, the extensive turmoil in their personal life or the true understanding of people along the way conforms them to have a reason to seed humility in their persona?

We may all question the true meaning of humility. Well, it gives us a reason to delve into our ancient scriptures. The Bhagavad-Gita quotes “Humility means that one should not be anxious to have the satisfaction of being honored by others. The material conception of life makes us eager to receive honor from others, but from the point of view of man in perfect knowledge-who knows that he is not this body-anything, honor or dishonor pertaining to this body is useless”. We all may evolve materialistically or by yuga, but the true meaning of humility remains the same as explained by Lord Krishna. We may all understand the meaning of humility as a phrase or a word in the dictionary or in the ancient scriptures, but do we need to or do we have to practice this value? The Hindu mythology portrays the soul as the eternal water of life that gets purified or tainted by the karma of the one. One truly makes or mars himself by his or her own deeds.

Success diverges in meaning to individual people. Success may not always be materialistic or royal. It may be something idiosyncratic, for example success for a mother means seeing her children excel and surpass in life, success for a debilitated person may be a job that he couldn’t do before. It is the true meaning of achieving what we as individuals always wanted to achieve.

Let’s look into the life of people we already know. Mother Teresa also crowned “The Blessed Teresa” of Calcutta left home at the age of 18 and ministered her way to aid and comfort the poor, sick and orphaned for about 45 years. Such prudence and consideration to the underprivileged led her to the path of enlightenment. Why did she cull that path? Although she questioned the faith on God umpteen number of times. It was the vigor and passion that made her do the things and made her feel good from within or even stronger. There is something in everyone that assists to be humble, remain delightful and sail through the toughest times of our lives. We have all been gifted the art of giving and aiding to the needy. Humility leads to a clear conscience, a majuscule level of respect and admiration for a person. Anna Hazare, the new iron man of the Indian masses made the government bow down to the tune of “Jan Lokpal Bill”. This has definitely been a great feat. But can we imagine a man of his stature could live in a small quarter with minimal amenities to enjoy his past glories. He dedicated his life to serve to the masses without serving the need to achieve his own desires.

Why does one have to do this? Why one does have to care and serve although he achieves what he wanted out of life? Well, the person is surely successful we may suppose. But our inner conscience is designed in such a way that it doesn’t allow a person to gloat on his/her glories for a long time. It helps us conjoin to the art of humbleness. This only happens when a person unobtrusively travails to achieve his goals. He sees and understands the intangible values of life.

Success to me is bringing a smile on the face of the underprivileged. Spiritualism means more to me as a ritual. Birthdays have always been a quiet thanksgiving to my parents and God. Distributing gifts in orphanages, a habit inculcated by my mother and father made little sense to me as a kid. But today it makes life more meaningful and my heart brims with satisfaction that my parents have been successful in making me a “Human being” first before I claim to be successful. As an individual I have a strong moral compass installed in me. This compass is my guide and guardian.

“Success is like an elusive lover
To attain her, whole life we hover
Around relentless toil, unaware of day and night
But be sure ‘Success’ is yours if the chosen path is right!”

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