To be humble is not to put yourself down, it is to respect every position.
In humility, we respect the man on the street begging for change. In humility, we respect the young person who ignores our experience and sets out on an uncomfortable path. In humility, we respect the millionaire, no matter how she or he became such, for we are each a shard of Tao and have a path to walk.
When discussing the three treasures, Lau Tzu perhaps described humility as ‘shrinking from taking precedence over others‘1 or perhaps even ‘not daring to be the First in the World‘2. To be humble is to follow the watercourse. Water is never less for seeking the low land.
Great leaders understand the importance of humility, of their place within the whole. Tyrants do not. Great teachers are humbled by the pupils’ ability to reason and learn. Lecturers are not.
There is greatness in the small and smallness in the great; the beauty of clouds will endure beyond the beauty of any sculpture.