15. Question: Does humility mean taking a back seat?Sri Chinmoy: No, humility does not mean taking a back seat. When you take a back seat consciously and deliberately in order to show others how humble you are, you are not being humble at all. Again, if you know that somebody is superior to you, and if for this reason you sit behind him rather than in front of him or beside him, this is not actually the heart's humility either. This is only a recognition of the fact that if you are inferior to someone, naturally he deserves to be in front of you. It is his due.
True humility is something totally different; it is the feeling of oneness. Humility means giving joy to others. If you have not established or cannot establish your inner oneness with others, then you can try to make them feel that they are as important as you, if not more so. On the outer plane if you can make people feel that they are really important, then they will value you. Here on earth we want to get joy. But how do we get joy? We get joy not by coming forward before others, but by bringing others to the fore. The real joy we get by self-giving, not by possessing or by showing our own supremacy. When we allow others to get joy first, then we feel that our joy is more complete, more perfect, more divine. By making others feel that they are either equally important or more important, we will show our true humility. Offering joy to others first is the way to show true humility.