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Tools for Growth: Shevet Mussar: The Storm of Arrogance

There is a place in the world that, once every 70 years, is struck with a mighty wind that uproots mountains, shatters rocks, rips up trees and homes, and all of the people standing in its way will be lifted by this stormy wind and tossed to a place far away.

However, when the people of this place see that this storm is on its way, they fall prostrate on the ground and grabbed onto a single soft blade of grass. As long as they are holding on to that single blade of grass the wind cannot carry them and they are saved. This mighty wind lasts only for 15 min. and it will smash everything in its way unless the person is holding onto this seemingly fragile life preserver.

This is definitely a lesson sent by God to show a person the advantage of humility, for it will be that which will save him from the storms of life. (Shevet Mussar, Chapter 17:29)

Most of us unfortunately associate humility with weakness, and mistakenly believe that in order to have the strength to stand before the storms of life we must have confidence, again, mistakenly associated with behavior that is actually arrogance. The Shevet Mussar is teaching us that, in truth, humility is the greatest source of strength.

We are currently living in times in which great storms are uprooting the lives of powerful and arrogant people in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Bahrain. Power and arrogance is not protecting the people from the attacking tornadoes. Imagine how different all of these situations would be if these leaders had responded by, grabbing onto the fragile leaf; the attribute of humility.

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