As we approach the Chinese New Year, I thought it would be timely to share a bit of philosophy with you all. As someone who has been involved with studying martial arts, Buddhism, Tao Te Ching and Confucius philosophy, I have attended many lectures. One lecture I particularly remember was a teacher explaining a passage of the I Ching (inevitability of change, yin and yang, fortune telling). He said the following regarding the difference between pride and modesty:
The I Ching teaches that pride is like a mountain. It’s high, solid and imposing and doesn’t let anything in. It does not allow the acceptance of others and their points of view. It will not let all possibilities exist for it does not accept opposite points of view.
Do not rush to judgment. Do not be like the mountain.
Modesty is like a big valley where there is no restriction. Everything can come in because the valley is open and accepting of anything, anyone, everyone, all thoughts, all points of view. Like a valley, we have to be open and willing to let other opinions and viewpoints be heard, because our opinions are not always correct. It is allowing the existence of opposite points of view that causes change (yin and yang).
As a sentient being, I know that I cannot be like a mountain, driven by pride and ego. I try to be like a valley, open to all people, viewpoints and opinions. I freely admit that though I have a lot of experience and information to share, I don’t have all the answers and continue to learn every day.
Happy New Year!