Putting others down opens us up to having our own turn at being put down. The Sufi, Nasruddin, tells the following story:
A proud grammarian once took a boat ride. On the way, the grammarian asked the simple boat driver if he knew grammar. The boat driver replied that he didn’t know grammar as he hadn’t gone to school. The grammarian replied that he had wasted half his life. A short while later, the water got rough, and the boat started sinking. The boat driver asked the grammarian if he knew how to swim, to which the grammarian replied that he didn’t. The boat driver remarked that all his life would be wasted since he would now drown.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Thus, there is no need to discredit others.
The hidden roots of a tree are its unseen foundation. By not having any desire to show off its might, the tree humbly conveys a quiet statement of strength.