There are so many beautiful thoughts, every one of them, more precious than gems and jewels, that we read in the Sikh scriptures. Here is such a gem from the Sukhmani Sahib: “Those who reflect on the Name Divine, are counted among the wealthiest on earth”.
Mira was aware of this great truth: therefore she sang, “Payoji maine, Raam Ratan Dhan Payo…”. I have attained the greatest of treasures, she proclaimed; it is the wealth of the Name Divine. It is the treasure that grows and multiplies when it is spent. How many of us care for this treasure today? How many of us bow down to those whose wealth is the Name Divine?
There was a time when a man was judged for his character, his values, and his knowledge. Today, these things do not matter. Money has come to rule our lives. The truth is that money has become our Master, instead of us becoming masters of the money we have earned! My reflections today are on the theme of humility. I am afraid we, in the modern age, do not think very highly of this virtue! We prefer to pay lip service to humility, but will not recommend it for practice in deeds of daily living!
I am pained to say this: we urge our children to be pushy, competitive, aggressive, and self-centered from an early age. We are convinced that arrogance and pride and ego are necessary for self-esteem, for survival in this world. “Put yourself first,” seems to be the mantra we instill into them. We can be confident, and self-assured; humility is not false modesty; it does not mean that we think ourselves low or wanting; all it takes is that we become sensitive to people; we respect others as much as we respect ourselves, and we become aware that everyone can contribute something worthwhile to the cause we believe in!
We gain from others when we realise that as human beings, we are all inter-dependent. We learn from others when we realise that we need their help, and seek the same with humility. However, we would miss these valuable insights, if our pride and ego stand in our way.
There is so much wisdom to be learned from the people around us! Life offers so many opportunities for us to evolve emotionally and intellectually. We can each contribute our own special and unique efforts to make life more meaningful and beautiful. What matters is that we recognise others’ contributions and appreciate them. All of us, with our individual gifts and skills, are like so many strings on God’s lute. We will make divine music when we function together.