Student: ‘In the olden days there were men who saw the face of God. Why don’t they anymore?
Teacher: ‘Because nowadays no one can stoop so low. It is necessary to stoop in order to reach the water in the river.’
Student: ‘Is that the meaning of the Biblical story about the rich man finding it easier to go through the eye of the needle than enter the Kingdom of Heaven?’
Teacher: ‘Yes, that’s right. To see the face of God and enter the Kingdom of Heaven requires humility. This is what the great sages of the past have all said. In Buddhist philosophy, only a humble mind can embark on the path of enlightenment. We seem not to value this virtue so much today.’
Student: ‘Lao Tzu says: ‘All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.’ Is this the same message?
Teacher: ‘Absolutely. Leaders can only become truly great by being humble. As Lao Tzu also says: ‘when the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!’ Lording it over others, controlling through diktat, pretending to know all the answers, wanting glory and praise, ignoring advice, not listening, not being compassionate: these are all recipes for disaster, suffering and pain. Just look around…’
Student: ‘It seems we have much need of humility today!’
Teacher: ‘Yes. That is indeed so. If we wish to see the face of God again and live in peace and harmony. We have a long way to go. Time to wake up!’