Strength of Humility

By Rakesh K Mittal IAS on 16-07-2011

Humility is
often a misunderstood word. Many confuse it with meekness or weakness.  The result is that they resort to arrogance
and waste a lot of energy in the process. 
This is very unfortunate. Therefore, the need is to understand the word
‘humility’ carefully.  While the outer
manifestations of ‘humility’ and 'meekness' may be the same, the inner
situation is totally different.  Humility
can be shown only by a strong, fearless and a detached person while meekness is
the result of weakness, fear or undue expectation.  Humility is an ornament of the brave while
meekness is a symptom of cowardice. Once we understand this difference well, we
can cultivate humility in a natural manner, thus conserving our energy which
can be used for more constructive purposes.

I learnt the
above lesson from a book on Lal Bahadur Shastri written by an ex-Director of
the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. He was
also my Director when I was there for the IAS training course.  He had worked with Shastriji for a long time
and had known him closely. He also used to deliver a few lectures on the
personality of Shastriji to the probationers. I was greatly influenced by his
lectures as well as the book.

Shastriji
came from a background of penury but rose to the position of the Prime Minister
of India. All through he was a humble but in no way a weak man. He had the
courage to own responsibility for mistakes committed by his subordinates and
also the nerve to take strong decisions whenever necessary.  This was amply evident during the Indo-Pak
war of 1965.  Even in Tashkent, he had
displayed tremendous courage during the talks with Ayub Khan when he refused to
budge from his stand on Kashmir. He lived a very simple life and commanded the
respect of all.  When he gave a call to
give up cereals once a week, the whole nation responded positively because of
the respect he commanded.

Who says
that humility is weakness?  Only those
who are humble in the true sense enjoy the strength of humility.

About The Author

Rakesh K Mittal IAS

Sri Rakesh Kumar Mittal IAS (Retd.) had been an administrative officer in Uttar Pradesh state cadre for about 35 years. He is a spiritual man with high moral values and a selfless heart. He has founded 'Kabir Peace Mission'. He has also written several books on positive thinking.