Humbleness in Bali
Written by
Sterling Nelson
February 2012
Written by
Sterling Nelson
February 2012

Humility is one the brightest elements of Bali.

Sure things aren’t perfect; every society has conformity… and all the countries I know have some sort of cast or hierarchical nature.  But in Bali, whatever the person’s caste may be, I see an essence of humility and spirituality. I think it’s because the Balinese pay reverent attention to nature.

I’m from the USA and we believe we can control nature. We “tackle” the fury of the traffic; have garage door openers and large covered parking areas. You’re not beckoned to touch a blade of grass or pray with flower pedals. It’s easy to forget this amazing nature we’re swimming in.

I was speaking with a friend yesterday who just returned from Singapore. She was so glad to be back. As clean and neat as it was, she said, the people had the carved face of commerce with no patience for anything else getting in their way.

Nature humbles me here. In Bali, my days “To Do” list is secondary to the winds and rain. Oooooooo John…

Being a novice, I still get caught by storms without my umbrella, (after all, the sky was blue 15 minutes ago) and join the drowned cat look alike club. But, despite the fact that we never know what kind of weather experience we’re going to have that day…there is an order to things.

 Now, I wake up with the light of day… humbled by the fact that the greatest artist or architect cannot match such a masterpiece of beauty vibrating behind those palm trees. I’ve noticed that to discover this beauty, I must pay attention to it… put some energy toward noticing it.

 I’m at Mades Warung eating a jaffel in her garden, watching as the fresh clover is adoring the swirling incense in the offering place. I don’t think it’s the brain that captures this sensitivity; it’s a humbleness that comes from the heart.

Like a good Mother, nature humbles us here every day by leaving us her leftover twigs, leaves, flowers and bugs. It is our job to graciously clean the paths and bring order to life once again.

Chickens want to be up before I do. Hey, there are no real walls between us…so these fat feathered friends have destroyed the alarm clock market and my need to control Mother. Who’s in charge here?

 And then there’s the resident frog in my shower and the gecko that poops in the same place. Funny we think of frogs, birds and plant life as nature and forget we’re the oddest piece of nature there is.

 I was watching a squirrel performing exotic yoga postures and doing “Up dog”- upside down when a funny long legged bird walks on the path below completely breaking his centeredness to a full mad pissy. What’s funny is that I believe I’m above all that, and even funnier because I have done that!

It seems when my ego inflates and leaves no room for humility it is also saying “I know it all “. In fact, when we are humble, we realize that we can learn from everyone.

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  • Collene Anderson

     Funny we think of frogs, birds and plant life as nature and forget we’re the oddest piece of nature there is.

    How true that statement is. We guide our days by the clock yet we pay no attention to the sky or the movement of the clouds across the sun. There are so many mysteries and synchronicity in nature that is waiting for humans to explore.

    Bali sounds stunning and I'm happy you had a wonderful experience there. I wish you many more blessed moments throughout your days. :)