Pic.: Neerja Panchal
Knowing our talents and strengths is the cornerstone of our self-confidence. And, being pride-swollen by them is its tombstone!
I am a very strong advocate of the former: know your talents and strengths… “Your confidence in life stands on this knowledge,” I keep reminding the young-ones. But, I, also, remind them that the knowledge about our God-given gifts and our unique strengths should be balanced by equal amount of humility. “Humility is a great strength, a great virtue… Let every other virtue of yours, and every other gift, be covered with this wrapper called – ‘Humility,” I try to convince them.
In fact, when God gives us our gifts, He, also, holds back from us something else, often, something very important. Perhaps, that’s to teach us humility in life… Keep us grounded.
The early we recognize this truth, the better for us.
Last evening, a mother had brought her 8-year-old to me. She wanted me to help the little one with a story-telling competition. And, the story she had selected was this:
Long time ago, there lived a Peacock in a forest. He was too proud of his beauty and dancing skills. This made him look down upon other birds in the forest.
One day, a crow tried to make friends with the Peacock. But, the proud Peacock mocked at the crow and said, "You are such a small and ugly creature… Your voice is irritating and you feed yourself on filth… People hate you and call you a scavenger… You must be just day-dreaming to be friends with me.” Then, the arrogant Peacock went on boasting about his beauty and dancing skills… He displayed his long and colorful tail and fanned out his brilliant feathers. He quivered gracefully, boastfully displaying his great dancing skills…
Suddenly, a leopard made a surprise attack from behind. The crow was swift to escape… He flew off and settled on a nearby tree-branch. But, the Peacock was not able to fly… God had blessed him with great beauty and dancing skills… but, He had not given him the flying skills…
The leopard grabbed the Peacock… and had him for his lunch!
I loved this old story about pride and humility. Apparently, the little-one, too, seemed to love it. I had a good time helping him tell it well…
The moral of the story is simple:
If our gifts are not wrapped with humility,
the leopard will come from behind!