Those who are not humble often help us to become humble

Dealing with arrogant people can be annoying and draining. To view such people positively, we can see interactions with them as opportunities to become humble. 

The Bhagavad-gita (13.08) lists humility as a laudable virtue that is integral to knowledge. And humility is primarily a relational virtue; it is demonstrated and developed through our relationships with others. When people are polite with us, reciprocating similarly with them is relatively easy. But when someone isn’t polite, we are forced to draw on our humility muscles to stay courteous with them. 

Our muscles grow not by lifting the weights that we can easily lift, but by lifting weights that are a struggle to lift. Similarly, our humility grows not by dealing with people who respect us, but by dealing with people who don’t respect us. Of course, if we lift weights that are too heavy too often, we damage ourselves physically. Similarly, if we deal too often with people who are too dismissive and derisive toward us, we damage ourselves psychologically; we become filled with negative emotions such as resentment, self-doubt and self-pity. We can keep a distance from malicious people, but not from difficult people.  

How do we know when to draw the line? By focusing on the ultimate purpose of social interactions: service to Krishna. 

Gita wisdom explains that we are souls on a multi-life journey of spiritual evolution toward our source, Krishna. We evolve spiritually by infusing all our activities, including our social interactions, with an attitude of service toward Krishna. We can endure some barbs from some people if that’s required for our service. Gradually, by our spirituality and humility, some humility may rub off on them too, thereby making interactions with them easier. And even if they don’t become humble, still Krishna will see our persistent service attitude and bless us profusely. 


Think it over:

  • How do non-humble people help us become humble?
  • While dealing with others, when do we need to draw a line?
  • Are there any difficult people in your life? How can you be more patient with them? 



13.08 Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona fide spiritual master; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control; … [ – all these I declare to be knowledge].

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Scripture is meant to be not just mapped, but also mined
To resolve conflicts, begin with the 1% commonality, not the 99% differences
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  1. Amazing article, Prabhuji. I very strongly feel that Krishna has delivered this message especially for me in the situation I’m going through.

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  2. Hare Krisha Dandavat !
    Very aptly said . Humility developes by dealing with people who cross us ..

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    • Nicely worded comment – maybe I will use it for a future Gita-daily. “Don’t be cross with people who cross you.”

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  3. in present world ,humility is a bad habit

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