Can a brilliant looking flower be a brilliant looking flower, on its own? The stem plays an important role in how the flower turns out to be. It is the stem that connects the flower to the plant, supplies all its nutrients, and helps it stay fresh. And it is the same stem that keeps the flower above all the muck and mud below. The moment the flower gets carried away by its own persona, leaves behind the stem, and detaches itself from the roots, it will not have many moments of beauty left in it, and will end up being part of the same muck that it was once so distinguished from. Gratitude and humility play a vital role in a person’s life, the same role that the stem plays in case of the flower.

Swaying Himalayan Aster
Flower of the Swaying Himalayan Aster (Botanical name – Aster Molliusculus), a perennial herb found in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 1,800-3,000m above mean sea level. This one was on the banks of Bhagirathi (river Ganga as she is known before reaching Dev Prayag), on the way back from Gangotri, Uttarakhand, India.

I admit, I used to be a thankless person, and was not a humble soul for sure. Not because I had something against showing gratitude or humility, but because I felt I was entitled to things, people, or feelings. Hence, I never felt the need to show my gratitude, and be humble while doing so. I took tremendous pride in all the things I knew, in all the things I had achieved and in all of my capabilities. That’s the way I was! Until that day…

That day, the majestic mountains taught me humility. And when I was stranded on top of those mountains due to bad weather, I learnt my lesson on gratitude. I threw away my “red book of grudges” in those mountains, for good.

The learning process is a long way from being over, though. But, I feel I am making progress in the right direction. Over the months, I have realised that being humble is the best way to unlearn and learn life. And being grateful creates more space inside me for everything good that the world has to offer. Both of these together, they help me stay content, connect me to the world in a much better way and negate my ego. I must say, I have come a long long way from the day I was stranded on top of that mountain.

Now, the best part about us humans is, we do not necessarily have to experience something to learn. We can learn from others’ experiences as well, thus saving us precious time. So, here is my experience for you, in one sentence –

Be grateful for everything you have (even for having your annoyingly critical friend), be humble in front of everyone (even an illiterate or someone who comes from way below your social stratum), and you will find happiness!

In frame: Flower of the Swaying Himalayan Aster (Botanical name – Aster Molliusculus), a perennial herb found in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 1,800-3,000m above mean sea level. I framed this one on the banks of Bhagirathi (river Ganga as she is known before reaching Dev Prayag), on my way back from Gangotri, Uttarakhand, India.

VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Yes, you can share this work with proper attribution. But, please seek permission before using this work (not including the photo), partially or fully. YOU CAN NOT USE THE PHOTO. Believe me, asking is better than ending up in court or facing public shaming on social media. Thanks for understanding.

© Amrit Panigrahy. All rights reserved.

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Written by Amrit Panigrahy

Amrit is a freelance photographer and a storyteller.

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