Yielding the Place of Honor to Others

     The idea of yielding the place of honor to others has been around since antiquity, and this concept carries great weight as to how an individual gets on in the world. Particularly so for those individuals of faith. In organizations having to do with faith, it does seem that those propagating the doctrines leave a lot to be desired in this regard. Since olden times have been proverbs like “The clever hawk hides its talons,” and haiku such as “Greater the yield / Do they bow their heads lower / The heads of rice stalks,” and they all refer to the practice of yielding the place of honor to others.
     To put on airs, to make one seem greater than one really is, to sing one’s own praises, all of these types of behavior to the contrary invite reverse effects. It is a human weakness to want to be noticed and remarked upon by others, to show oneself off in a good light. Those members of the general public who have worked at an ordinary job and lived an ordinary life, who have lived in the lower strata of society, and who suddenly are in a position to be called “Teacher,” may start to think “Do I really seem so great?” are very happy and thankful at first, but as the days pass by, within most people arises the desire to appear even greater. At this level, the situation could be said to be normal, but from this point, attitude becomes an issue. The individuals involved will provoke unpleasantness in others but will not become aware themselves of the reactions they provoke.
     God intensely dislikes conceit. The virtue of humbleness and the practice of yielding the place of honor to others are both highly precious and particularly so in cultural activities. In any situation where people are crowded together, such as on trains, pushing through others to triumphantly get a good seat is a form of thinking that the whole world belongs to oneself and is unpleasant for all.
     The very creation of a harmonious and pleasant society, a manifestation of democratic thought, is an ideal that has differed in no way at all from ancient times to the present.

Essays on Faith, page 43, September 5, 1948
    translated by cynndd

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“Geza no Gyō,” which was originally the twentieth chapter of the Nihon Kannon Kyōdan (Japan Kannon Church) publication Shinkō Zatsuwa (Essays on Faith), page 43, and, later while Meishu-sama still alive, included in the only Sekai Meshiya Kyō (Church of World Messianity) essay anthology for the general public Tengoku no Fukuinsho (Gospels of Heaven), page 82, has previously appeared in English. Citation is given below for reference.

“The Practice of Humility,” Foundation of Paradise, 1984, page 359.

“The Practice of Humility,” Teachings of Meishu-sama, Volume Three, 2005, page 4.

“”Check the Urge to Boast,” Reaching for Faith, 2010, page 69.

“Self-Restraint,” A Hundred Teachings of Meishusama, no date, page 143.