The greatest among you will be the least, a painful reality. It is difficult to fathom this proverbial adage, and infinite wisdom. It means a lot, from total selflessness to divine humility, many of us attempt to achieve. Many of us failed because of wrong intentions, or misguided perceptions. Our material flesh is stronger than our ideal self. We easily succumbed to inconvenience, even among the most trained and physically fit among us. We loss patience, and forbearance. We judged and condemned. We end relationships and situations, almost violently. Violence can be in the physical or mental form. None of us are exempt from this. We want to get even, or restore our prides by overcompensating. From materially spoiling our children, children that deserves unconditional love. We spoil relationship from being complacent to outright coldness. We rationalized things when we don't have concrete understanding, of matters, typical of an imperfect being - a being that is weak, and frail, morally and spiritually. Some at the end of their earthly existence, have achieved the feat of a saint and a martyr. Difficult act to follow, but possible.
Many people noticed that I always talk about the poor. I talk about the materially poor, and the spiritually poor, last. I do not discuss, how we fail short of the spiritual utopia, avoiding rush judgment, which many of us are guilty of. We missed out with the reality, every thing under the sun has an end, as every season changes. As a child I was different because I choose to be alone, and inclusive to myself. I started becoming verbal in college (second year). In one of a political event after college, I was standing beside a powerful political figure (I knew the person), and an acquaintance not really close to me, came forward, and said, "Aren't you the quite one ?" Yes, she was right. The person that approached me after the speech of the honored guest, was one of the teachers at a private high school I attended.
While attending high school with an elite group of young boys, I was the quite one and the least popular. Many of my classmates were prominent children of doctors, lawyers, or politicians. Many of them are confident, and outspoken. I do not know what happened to most of them as we speak.
My college years was an interesting experience. I learned to embraced "false humility" by not attending my college graduation, and refusing several leadership awards, (all were forfeited) from the college where I graduated. I was a popular college student leader, bold and outspoken.
I detested my little feat looking at the socio-economic injustices of my time. I told myself, anyone can become me, or achieve, what I have achieved. I was longing for authenticity, honesty and integrity.
Another interesting experience was after graduation from college, a month later, I received a teaching offer from a private college. During my interview, the School Administrator and President of the Board Trustees asked me a personal question/comment. " You were not an "A" student but we hired you as a teacher because we noticed your grades in logic, ethics, and public speaking, were A's. The college president further added, and I heard you were a popular student in the college (where I graduated), and an outspoken student leader and activist. That was flattering for me.
The truth is, I never liked attending formal schools. I loved logic, ethics and public speaking because I loved to read the ancient Greek philosophers, from Plato to Aristotle (not so much admiring Socrates, until later) while in grade school. My academic formation started in grade school. I have reserved knowledge of academic subjects, as well as college level subjects, and my father tutored me (I excelled in grade school, and also in grade school, I came to know the socio-economic inequality in the city where I was born) I did not forget my poor classmates. Many were bright. I was in the top 20 of the graduating class of more or less three hundred graduating students (grade school). I was not a valedictorian like my father, but I knew, I was a gifted student and child. My best friend in grade school was our school valedictorian. I never envied him, I loved him like a brother. (My late and only biological brother was 15 years older than me)
Why am I sharing this personal story ? Numerous reasons, first and foremost, in grade school, I learned to question the educational system that catered to the rich and politically powerful. I learned to hate the educational system. I detested it. I fought it at my own detriment in high school, college and graduate school. To some, I did not achieve the academic laurels, to some I do not belong to the circle of scholars and academicians, but I surprised myself and others, for I have experienced and achieved, "selflessness" at a younger age. I was not afraid to be ridiculed, though I resented it. In my career and professional life, I have great privileges and opportunity, including an opportunity to work with powerful politicians. I met famous people and became friends with a few of them. In my recent experience, I met a Pulitzer Prize[d] author from Oxford University, believed it or not, we became friends. We still communicate via emails. He gave me his home and cell phone numbers because I told him I wanted to become a prolific writer like him. I was excited about that experience.
I met so many famous people outside of the USA, and inside USA. I was the least among them, in the eyes of humanity, but I know, just like the many least among us, I am among the first in the eyes of God. We are nothing, life is chasing after the wind, except to worship and honor the greatest of all, the TEACHER of all teachers...