A village potter used to make pots and planters. He would go to a near by town to sell his wares. He had a donkey on whose back he would load the pots etc. Diwali was fast approaching, so the potter decided to make some statues of Lord Ganesha and Goddes Lakshmi, to sell in town. He made some beautiful statues and painted them in bright colours. He then loaded them on to the back of his donkey and set off towards the city.
On the way, he crossed many people. They would invariably fold their hands and bow to the statues of Ganesha and Lakshmi. By the time they reached the city, many people had bowed their heads before the deities. They reached the exhibition ground where the artisans could exhibit their things. Soon the potter was able to sell his statues for a good sum. He was pleased indeed!
The potter took his donkey by the muzzle and set off on the road leading back to the village. Every time they would cross anyone, the donkey would stop and preen himself prettily as if he were a model. But what was the matter! No one seemed to as much as glance at him! Why were people not bowing their heads before him anymore? Desperate to catch their attention, the donkey started to bray, “He-haw, he-haw…..” he went on. The passers-by started pelting stones at him in annoyance. The potter was bewildered too.
The poor donkey had thought that everyone was bowing to him, little realizing that their reverence was directed to the idols of God tied to his back and not to him!
Many of us make this mistake. A person occupying a seat of power, often finds people saluting him. If he thinks that the salutations are in his honour, he is living in a fool’s paradise, like the donkey in the story!
The respect is given to the chair and not to the person occupying it. As soon as he steps down from the position, the people around him vanish. Frogs croak only when it rains, as soon as the rain stops, they vanish.
Humility is perhaps the most precious jewel one can wear and it is priceless too!