There was a young man who desired humility. He went to an old wise man and said to him, “Sir, I wish to be humble, but I don’t know how to obtain it. What must I do to acquire humility?”
The old wise man thought for a minute and replied, “Here is what you should do… go out and find someone who is beneath you and do something nice for him. Give him something that you have or do something for him that needs to be done.”
The young man replied, “I can do that!” He immediately left and came upon a homeless man on the street who looked like he had not eaten in days. He took the man to a restaurant and bought him a nice hot meal. After he dropped off the homeless man, the young man, who was feeling pretty good, returned to the wise man and told him what he had done. He then asked him, “Do I now have humility?”
The wise old man replied, “Not yet!” The young man’s face fell and after a while, he asked the wise man, “What else must I do to acquire humility?” The wise man said, “Go out and find someone else who is beneath you and do something nice for him.”
This upset the young man who replied, “But I did that already! If I go help someone else, will I then have humility?” The wise man replied, “No you will not!”
This upset the young man even more and he asked, “How many people do I have to help… 10 people?”
“I don’t understand… please tell me how many people I have to help? How will I know when I have obtained humility?” asked the young man.
The wise old man replied, “You will have obtained humility when you can no longer find anyone that you think is beneath you!”