The humility towards those who are lower than we are, and at whose expense we have been able to rise, must be present everywhere in the world. If a plant were able to think, it would thank the minerals for giving it the ground on which it can lead a higher form of life, and the animal would have to bow down before the plant and say: “To thee I owe the possibility of my own existence.” In the same way man should recognise what he owes to all the rest of nature. So also, in our society, a man holding a higher position should bow before those who stand lower and say: “But for the diligence of those who labour on my behalf, I could not stand where I do.”

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science – Lecture XIII: Oriental and Christian Training – Stuttgart, 3rd September 1906

Previously posted on February 25, 2014