Tree and humility

[Bahasa Indonesia]
Humility–a word that seldom exists in my dictionary, unfortunately. Working and living in this competitive modern fast world, pride or even arrogance seems to have taken me thus far in life. Modesty and humility have very little space.

Yet, humility seems to be my lesson of the month.

Four times, at least, the word humility has been hammered to my head. Two of them use tree as metaphor.

A story from Pak Merta Ade, Bali Usada. A king and his large entourage were walking around a garden. He saw this handsome tree, larger stronger than the others, bearing more fruits and leaves. He picked a couple of fruits and moved on. The entourage started to picked fruits from the same tree. When there were no more fruits, people started to picked the leaves, then the branches. The tree was left with very little.

The king has finished his round and saw what happened to the tree. He thought, “The grander you are (than others), the more spotlight will be on you, the more people would tend to (ab)use you. Better to be more modest and similar with others.”

A beloved friend told me her conversation with another friend. The other friend pointed to a particular tree, skinny, few leaves etc. Yet, it is nurturing its surrounding, the best that it can, the way it should be. “That little tree that nobody notices,” he said, “Be that tree. Be that tree.” (I love this story).


That beloved friend herself. She is like a walking encyclopedia, especially on spirituality. But when you pass her on the street, you would not even lay an eye on her. She is so .. ordinary. She is being that tree. I have been trying to meet up with her but our schedule never meets. So when several days ago I met her, I told her it is like a gift from Him to me. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to meet her again.

From a weekend Beshara session. The whole session was about humility. Humility as a prerequisite to move on to another stage in life.

The text reads “Humility is in its broadest terms poverty of spirit; not poverty by lack, but by esteem of individuality; it is the acceptance of one’s limitations; in other words a realistic estimation of one’s self without aggrandizement of one’s egocentrically fabricated self-illusions.

In short, it is an honest appraisal of one’s being, which is tantamount to knowing oneself closely. Though in this close scrutiny of oneself is involved the fullest development of one’s possibilities in potential, which will eventually bring one to one’s fullest perfection, there is nevertheless a hideous and frightening list of one’s defects and shortcomings.”

Four repetitions over a single lesson in one month. Either it is very important or I am that arrogant. Or both.

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