Be like a Rice Stalk


“Young rice stalks stand upright, the mature stalks, filled with grain, bow low” – Japanese saying

This is a Japanese saying that our tour guide shared with us during our last trip that really struck me and stayed in my mind.

She shared that the Japanese saying means that the more you have in life — like the mature stalks which possess a lot of grains — the more you should be humble.

In our Catholic education, Jesus also teaches us the value of humility when he decided to wash the feet of his apostles.

Unfortunately most people, especially the people in power, usually don’t display this humility.  I don’t mean just the people in government.  It can be as simple as a manager who has power over his staff or a parent who has power over a child.

It is easy to get an inflated sense of self-importance when one is placed in a position of power.  But isn’t it true that the essence of being human is having the ability to rise above the basic instincts.

To me, humility means being able to treat everyone, no matter who and in what social strata, with respect and dignity.  It means never looking down on other people.  It means acknowledging and remembering you don’t know everything and you can learn something from the most surprising sources if you’d only care to listen.    Humility can be as commonplace as having the grace to admit if you made a mistake and apologize.

In my opinion, humility doesn’t mean being a doormat.  It just means you acknowledge other people’s value as well as your own.

I have to remind myself, and my family, constantly to try our best and remain humble.  I have to admit that sometimes, I forget to do so.  Must try harder.

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One thought on “Be like a Rice Stalk

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